When running a service-based business, environment is everything. Huge clothing retailers, movie theaters and car companies pump scents into rooms, play music, and use ambient lighting to improve customer experience. So why shouldn't a smaller enterprise? The right vibe inspires staff and clients to bring their A-game, and since our company, LogicPrep, specializes in preparing high school students for college, A's are of paramount importance.
The atmosphere of a service-based company becomes your brand, so here are a few tips to appeal to all of your customers' senses:
Find your scent in a diffuser, candle, or both. We always burn the same candles in our office. A few of our clients that have visited both our New York and Sao Paulo locations immediately remarked how the scent was the same. It took a few different attempts to ultimately find our signature candle, but you will know when you have matched your product with a scent.
We're an education company, so everything in our office must be bright and clean to facilitate learning. We keep our color palate largely white and gray, with pops of blue and orange from our logo. All of the lighting is bright, and because we don't want our students distracted, we go out of our way to make sure all of the rooms have closed cabinets to hide clutter.
All of our tables have back-painted white glass tops so we can write on them with dry-erase markers. With technology making everything a tap or swipe away, we have found that a tactile marker is still a really effective tool for both our staff and students. The fact that we encourage students to "write on their desks" has become a talking point for many of our employees and customers.
In our offices, we can't play music to drown out background noise because our students need to focus. To overcome the sound of conversations and other noises, we decorated the walls with sound-absorbing panels and used rubber padding behind the walls. However, if a quiet environment weren't so paramount, I would choose specific music genres that reflect our company's vibe.
Students often come to our office after school in need of a healthy snack. We always provide fresh fruit in a fun basket right next to the (less healthy) fruit snacks. It's not appropriate for all businesses to have food, but for many service businesses, the right beverage or snacks can help make the experience memorable.
Of course, the delivery of services or products is the most important, but sprucing up the office environment can certainly help convert prospects into customers. The five senses have served as a great guide for making our brand distinct and representative of our educational philosophy. So, invest in your office: not only will you have happier colleagues and customers, but you might also find you have a better bottom line.
Jesse Kolber is the founder and CEO of LogicPrep. With over 10,000 hours of SAT/ACT teaching experience over the past 15 years, he has keen insight into the topics covered on the tests as well as the psychology behind test taking. Jesse prides himself on being a coach to students, their families and other educators, and is responsible for LogicPrep's methodology, software development, and strategic direction.