The aim of this blog has always been to minimize the learning curve of running a float center. That said, operating any float center will naturally include a steep learning curve as you begin to implement your ideals of how a float center should operate against with the realities of your limited resources such as time, money, and personnel. Within several weeks or months you will find a consistent and familiar rhythm to your business as you start to become more comfortable with the ins and outs of operating it. Your float center will be running in a way that is both satisfactory to you and has a unique pulse that both you and your visitors will recognize. Initially you had no idea how to introduce your customers to a float, but now you guide them into each float with ease. Where before you were running from one end of the building to the other to grab ear plugs, now they are kept right next to your float rooms, hidden behind a curtain. All the big and little refinements you’ve made have turned your center into a smoothly operating business you can be proud of (and stay sane operating).
This is great news, right? Absolutely! However if at this point you feel like you’re done, you are missing an incredible opportunity to make your float center the best it can be. Let me explain.
A common misconception is that customer service consists only of the face to face time that you have with a customer. While this is a key portion of customer service, it extends far beyond that one-on-one interaction. Customer service stretches beyond those initial introductions to the ambiance of your float shoppe, and to all that happens behind the scenes. Whether it’s the feeling they get when they visit your website for the first time or the ease at which they are able to schedule an appointment, to their experience in the float room when left to themselves, these all have an impact on how people perceive your business.
Each time you give a float introduction, stay curious and stay present with the person you are speaking with instead repeating your rote spiel. Doing this will keep moving toward your goal of improved customer service. Each time you go into your float rooms, stay interested in what the customer’s experience will be in that space. Does it makes sense for the the ear plugs to be here, or does it makes more sense for them to be in another place that is easier for the customer to access? How will that impact the customer’s experience in the room? For those who are tech minded, what technology can be implemented to enhance the customers experience, whether it’s behind the scenes or something that they interact with?
One of my favorite improvements here at the shoppe is the recent switch from using a jar of Vaseline and asking the customer to use a Q-tip to scoop out Vaseline (to put over small cuts to stop the salt water from stinging). We’re now using small packets of Vaseline that are kept in the room for each customer. This is far more sanitary, ensures our visitors stay healthy, and it’s actually cheaper than our previous method. This was because my partner Sandra’s interest in medical sanitation and safety is unwavering and the wheels in her head are constantly turning.
Floating is still a burgeoning business sector and to date no one has a perfect business model. We’re all learning as we go along. It is up to you to help define what it is to visit a float center. It is up to you to find new insights and explore those little changes that can make our customers time in our centers that much more valuable. It is up to you to stay curious and help continue pushing the industry forward. Stay curious, don’t be afraid to experiment, and always put the customer’s experience first.