Establishing a shared office location and filling it with clients is half the battle for a coworking space; however, it doesn't guarantee long-term success. To become a profitable and thriving business, you have to turn your members into loyal customers.
Unfortunately, establishing customer loyalty is easier said than done. A freelancer, unlike a long-term commercial lease signer or startup, can leave a shared workspace anytime if they don't like something. That’s why coworking space owners should stay vigilant and try not to make mistakes that can lead to dissatisfied clients. In this post, we'll point out some of the errors that can discourage professionals from returning to a coworking venue.
This is the most common cause of client dissatisfaction in any business. With coworking spaces, it’s the most critical problem. If, during a tour of the space, you tell your potential customer that there's going to be weekly events and happy hour with crudités and beer, you better make sure that those activities take place. Otherwise, your members will be deeply disappointed.
Customer care begins with the first call to your office, continues at the reception desk and carries through a potential customer's introduction to the space and community. Customers expect help whenever they need it, the way they'd receive assistance at an old-fashioned office building. Friendly, professional and accommodating personnel is a must-have for any shared workspace.
Coworking spaces accommodate hundreds of visitors, so furniture and equipment will experience some wear and tear. Maintaining the initial ambiance and standard of your workspace is crucial. Everything needs to function the way it did when you first opened and appear how it's advertised or portrayed online. Any defect, from a faulty handle to a failing AC or a broken power outlet could be a sign that it’s not the right place to work.
While it's implied that coworking means people working beside each other, it's essential that your venue doesn't get overcrowded. If you sign up as many customers as possible and ignore the noise and comfort levels then you'll risk losing your old members--loyal customers--who might suddenly feel they're in a bar instead of a shared workstation. Another point to consider is that as the number of people in the open space area increases, the level of security and productivity goes down.
People choose to work in a coworking space because they appreciate the feeling of belonging and socializing with others. That’s why they feel disappointed if there are no social events or opportunities for networking and collaboration. Remember that a coworking space shouldn't be dull and should offer some sort of entertainment or programming that brings people together.
Needless to say, if there is any sort of discriminatory behavior toward people based on their race, gender or religion, they will feel hurt and won’t become part of the community.
Yes, these days coworking spaces are associated with lightning-fast Wi-Fi, comfortable working conditions, and complimentary drinks. So, if you're planning to charge members for a cup of coffee, that is a serious faux pas.
To sum it up: If you want to retain members, then keep the place tidy and functional at all times. Above all try to concentrate on the customers and satisfying their needs, rather than hyper-focusing on profit, and by no means cut corners on hiring personnel who can create a flourishing and thriving community.