The changing seasons are full of opportunities for health and wellness businesses to provide unexpected moments of delight for customers who feel picked on by the weather.
Sure, you could charge for some of this – but a better strategy is to think like a marketer and treat these ideas as “lagniappe.”
That’s Cajun for “a little something extra” – that wonderfully unexpected “wow” moment that no one expects, and everyone loves.
The payoff for your wellness business is the conversation that happens the next day: “You will NOT BELIEVE what happened at my gym…yoga studio…wellness center…yesterday!”
Get your creative juices flowing with these suggestions (and I’d love to hear about any great ideas you’ve got that we missed):
- Keep umbrellas handy and walk anyone leaving your facility out to their cars. Don’t ask – just do it: “Here, I’ll run out to your car with you.” It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect informally and make a great impression.
- Mark off deeper puddles with traffic cones so unsuspecting customers don’t slosh through them.
- Keep cheap towels by the door that they can wipe mud off shoes with.
- Keep eyeglasses wipes or soft tissues near the door and offer them for drying off eyeglasses.
- Offer “economy-weight” rain ponchos at no charge – in bulk, they’re as low as fifty cents each.
- Keep an eye on the weather report and give customers a heads-up if you hear hail or tornado warnings.
- Having a couple days of on-again, off-again spring showers? Have a rainbow photo contest.
Snow and Ice
- Plan ahead: before winter arrives, pick up a few bags of sand, fill dirt or road salt.
- When it’s icy and slippery, sprinkle it outside your doors and along the main entrance path for customers.
- Mark off extra-slippery areas with traffic cones.
- Keep old cardboard handy so that folks can cover their windshields. Much better than having to knock that stuff off when you come back out.
- Keep an eye on the weather report and give customers a heads-up for sudden winter storm warnings.
- Confirm that you’re open as usual or announce shorter hours or closures promptly and proactively via email, website notices and social media updates.
- Your area doesn’t normally get snow? Capitalize on a sudden snowstorm and invite everyone with sleds, skis, or snowshoes to meet at a nearby hill.
- Offer complimentary hot coffee, tea and/or chocolate ready for anyone who braves the nasty weather.
- And offer a refill when they leave.
- Mark a designated “warming spot.” You know that one place in your store that’s always overheated? In winter, that’s an asset!
- Consider portable patio-style heaters in exceptionally exposed areas – for example, drop-off and pickup areas.
- Did you know you can buy warming racks for towels? A great addition for exercise-oriented businesses.
- Too nasty for outdoor programs? Instead of cancelling, consider a field trip like a grocery store tour.
- A refreshingly cool day in the middle of a heatwave? Another great opportunity to move some regular programs or services outside.
- Delightfully cool in the middle of a hot month? Send quick email and/or social media invites, hand out Frisbees, serve lemonade and cookies, make it a party!
- Reward anyone who’s brave enough to show up with a free small disposable cup of icy water.
- Offer a refill as they leave.
- Use a behind-the-counter fridge to keep chilled golf wipes, miniature premoistened 100% cotton towels, or hydrating lotion wipes with essential oils.
- Offer spray bottles (with or without built-in fans) filled with chilled water.
- Consider placing portable misting fans near your entrance on the worst days (but leave a route for folks who don’t want to walk through the mist!).
- An unexpectedly beautiful day in the middle of winter? Move some of your regular programs or services outside!
- Another warm day in the middle of cooler weather? Send out quick email/social media invites and crank up a boombox, ice down drinks in a tub or host a quick ice cream social.