Put people in your business first

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Behind Review host and Yelp small business expert Emily Washcovick shares a preview of this week’s podcast episode.

A business is more than bricks and mortar and a few products. They’re the offspring of the business owner, and as the owner you want customers to experience the best that you have to offer. Setting and fulfilling expectations for that experience, as soon as the customer walks through your door, can be one of the things that keeps them coming back.

Milk + Honey

That’s why Alissa, owner of Milk + Honey, designed her space to create a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere that instantly calms and relaxes customers from the second they walk in.

“Our main goal and our mission at Milk + Honey is to make people feel good. The vibe of Milk + Honey, the vibe there, as soon as you walk through the doors, we pay a lot of attention to the architecture and really use the architecture to enhance that experience. As you keep going deeper and deeper into the spa, it’s darker, calmer, just more relaxed.

This unique vibe was exactly what drew criticism from Yelp Melissa M., who was trying out different spas throughout the Houston area. When she landed on Milk + Honey, she knew it was the right one.

“I love, I love, I love Milk + Honey. When we found Milk + Honey there was no need to go anywhere else. I love everything about this place. Free parking in a convenient location is great. The staff are professional but friendly. The interior is clean and well maintained. The changing room is just big enough and I never had to wait for a shower.

They have all the amenities you could want – hair dryers, showers, small items you might have forgotten, etc. The massages I received, especially by Nia, were amazing. I am absolutely in love with Nia and her ability to know how to give a massage. He’s a master.

The owner, Alissa, agreed: “We are not providing massages and facials. Our mission is to make people feel good and to give them even a two hour respite from their life and reality. All of these little details of this experience are so important because they don’t come for a massage. It’s really this whole decompression process.

But no one can create such a special atmosphere if they are not surrounded by their own support system. For Alissa, who is a busy mother of three and owns a successful business, that means building a great team of employees and treating them well. She knows that a secret to hiring great people is to treat them the way you would your clients.

The support its staff receive, from paid vacation days to the 401,000 match, creates a happy and supportive environment that is reflected in the care and attention to detail by everyone at Milk + Honey. His employees are invested in the success of his business.

“Even when the front desk people took you into the locker room and showed you all the different amenities, they made an effort to put things away. They didn’t just stay in their lane. They would pick up items or make sure the inside of the changing rooms was as clean and tidy as possible, which I really appreciate because when I go to a spa. I don’t just pay for the massage. I’m also paying for the full experience, ”Melissa said.

Alissa had managed to create the ultimate in-person spa experience, but she didn’t stop there. Developing more passive sources of income would also help to diversify its offerings and increase its results.

“I have wanted to create products for a long time. Creating them allowed me to flex different muscles and do something new without having to leave Milk + Honey, which I love, it’s my first baby in every way.

Alissa has also created a membership model, which she says works a bit behind the back of her business, without needing a lot of support from either employees or herself. While not having the greatest financial impact, it is a consistent source of income and rewards clients like Melissa with service discounts.

“Once we found Milk + Honey I was really like, this is where I’m going to come regularly. And when they mentioned to me that they had this subscription model where you get a discount if you sign up for a monthly subscription, I was like, it’s great because I want to come here anyway. I want to come to Nia anyway, and getting a discount is kind of like the icing on the cake.

Exceptional customer service and a relaxing experience have made Milk + Honey a successful and not-so-small business with six locations in Texas and one in Los Angeles. Alissa used these tips to help her business thrive:

  • Use your physical space to create an atmosphere. This brick and mortar can start your customer’s journey on the right foot with the right look and feel.
  • Make your employees feel as valuable as the customers. A team that feels valued and respected will convey this to your customers and take an active role in growing your business.
  • Test passive income streams. They can help increase revenue and keep businesses afloat during downturns.
  • When things go wrong, what matters most is your reaction. This is what separates truly exceptional customer service from the average.

Listen to the episode below to hear Alissa and Melissa, and subscribe to Behind the review to learn more about new business owners and appraisers every Thursday.

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