If you want consumers to buy your spas, you need to understand how they make their purchase decisions. While you may be able to lure customers in with flashy advertisements and strategic marketing schemes, at the end of the day, why customers ultimately decide to buy from you—and why some don’t—may just surprise you.

According to a customer experience survey of 2,000 US consumers between the ages of 18 and 64, customers have specific expectations of the companies from which they buy. When a company or its salespeople fail to meet those expectations, customers are turned off. More often than not, turned-off customers will choose to start the whole research and buying process over rather than hand over their hard-earned money to a company they now perceive as being sub-standard.

Let’s take a look at the top three reasons why a customer may walk away from your business and choose to shop for spas elsewhere.

  • You or an employee lied to them about a product or service.
  • Your restrooms are dirty.
  • You are unresponsive to emails, phone calls, or other forms of contact.

Trust, Credibility, and Product Representation

According to several studies, one of which was published in Forbes, relationships matter in business, and just as trust is the key to sustaining a personal relationship, so is it the key to sustaining a customer-business relationship. There are several ways in which your business can establish trust with clients, but one of the most effective ways is to be honest and accurate in the representation of your products.

In this podium survey, 79% of respondents said that they would walk away from a retailer or service provider that lied or misrepresented its products or services. While you may be able to trick a customer into purchasing from you once, you risk damaging your long and short-term reputation by being dishonest.

79% of respondents said that they would walk away from a retailer or service provider that lied or misrepresented its products or services.

If a customer does buy from you despite your dishonest representation of a spa product, he or she is not likely to buy from you again in the future. Of course, this could prove to be a huge detriment to your spa business even with the long lifecycle of a hot tub. Repeat customers are small businesses’ bread and butter and account for more than half of all revenue of at least 61% of American small businesses.

Moreover, loyal customers spend, on average, ten times more than first-time purchasers and cost five times less to retain than it costs to acquire new customers. By misrepresenting your products, you forfeit loyal, repeat customers—if you didn’t forfeit the sale entirely.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to build trust and credibility with customers. When marketing your products, keep honesty in mind, along with the following three tips:

  • Focus on transparency.
  • When sharing product benefits, use real customer stories as proof.
  • Change the way you practice business, and then promote how you want to lead your industry.

Of course, the number one thing you can do to earn and keep customers’ trust is to keep producing quality products. Quality spas speak for themselves, and if you continue to provide shoppers with the products they came looking for, you should have no trouble making the sale and building a loyal customer base.

Restrooms and Impression Management

Believe it or not, nearly half of the Podium respondents said that dirty restrooms are a deal-breaker. Most individuals see the quality of a business’s restroom as a reflection of the business as a whole. To these individuals, a business that keeps a dirty restroom is just as bad as a person who sweeps dust under a rug or a child who shoves all of his or her toys under the bed and calls the room “clean.” There is just something inherently dishonest, and inherently lazy, about a retailer who cannot keep its facilities clean for customer use.

In addition to looking bad, dirty restrooms scare away potential customers for a number of other, less shallow reasons. A dirty restroom is a health hazard, and if you aren’t keeping your restrooms clean, the germs are likely lingering about your establishment. They also smell bad. After a while, the odors from a dirty facility will begin to waft out onto the salesfloor, deterring even those customers who don’t get a peek behind the closed door.

There is just something inherently dishonest, and inherently lazy, about a retailer who cannot keep its facilities clean for customer use.

Fortunately, a dirty restroom is another deterrent that is easy to avoid. While the best thing for you to do would be to hire a cleaning company to perform a deep clean after hours, if a cleaning crew isn’t within your budget, you can always establish an effective restroom cleaning schedule. Here are a few steps you can take to do so effectively:

  • Educate your employees and provide them with adequate training.
  • Create a cleaning checklist.
  • Create a cleaning schedule.
  • Make sure whoever is on cleaning duty does it right the first time and that he or she allows proper dwell time (time disinfectant sits on surfaces).
  • Prevent cross-contamination by deep cleaning high-touch contact surfaces.

Responsiveness Defines Your Personal Brand

According to the Podium survey, responsiveness—or lack thereof—is a major deal-breaker for customers. The results are pretty enlightening for spa retailers, as they suggest that individuals expect to be able to get a response from a brand within as little as five minutes. The study found that potential customers would move onto the next brand in the following circumstances:

  • If they left a voicemail and the seller failed to respond within a day.
  • If they emailed and the retailer failed to respond within a day.
  • If they sent a text message and the business owner failed to respond within a day.
  • If a local business failed to respond within five minutes of initial contact.

Ignoring customer queries serves three purposes, none of which are beneficial to your spa business. For one, it sends the message that you don’t care enough about the person’s business to make his or her communication a priority. Two, it tells prospective customers that your entire business is unresponsive and that if they have a hard time buying from you, they will have an even harder time trying to resolve an issue. Finally, it forces clients who are ready to purchase to research your competitor’s products.

Ignoring customer queries sends the message that you don't care enough about their business to make their communication a priority.

You can keep customers satisfied and win over new ones by implementing a few best practices for keeping in touch with customers:

  • Ensure the channels you rely on to facilitate customer communication are open and allow for intuitive use.
  • Use technology effectively to ensure your customers are able to find the answers to their most pressing questions and concerns via a quick search.
  • Avoid complicated telephone systems that force customers to wade through numerous menus before finally being able to speak with a human.
  • Review your emails one last time before you close for the day. You never know how many emails you missed throughout the day if you don’t give your inbox a final once over.
  • Clearly communicate your goals regarding customer satisfaction with your sales staff and employees to help improve customer responsiveness on their end.

In Closing

Ultimately, customers’ expectations aren’t that outrageous. They just want honesty, cleanliness, and communication—three qualities that most people look for in their friends, partners, and business associates. If you want to attract quality customers and build a loyal customer base, present yourself as a quality spa retailer. Implement the tips mentioned above to transform your company into one that individual customers would be more than happy to do business with.