Every time you visit a store, town or city, there is a sign welcoming you. Of course, there is often a considerable difference between the welcome message on the sign and the warmth of the welcome you actually receive.
Here’s a great example of the power of delivering on a welcome message, and the positive impact it can have.
Welcome to Jedburgh
Yesterday, I visited a small town in Scotland called Jedburgh. As I drove past their “Welcome to Jedburgh” sign, I saw another sign shortly after, telling us that the town provides visitors with free wifi. This turned out to be really useful and allowed me to quickly upload photos to my Instagram account and access Google Maps, etc. Then, as we drove into the main town car park we discovered that the reason we couldn’t find a machine to pay for our parking, was that parking was free too. The people working in their visitor attractions and local shops were friendly and we left the town, with the feeling that the town had truly been welcoming.
The difference between a welcome message and a welcoming experience
The reason I find myself recommending the town to my friends, is not because they invested in a huge, expensive welcome sign. It’s because of the welcome we received and the effort the town’s council made in delivering visitor-friendly resources.
In short: A warm welcome is not something we get from a sign or a well crafted slogan. For it to mean anything to our clients and customers, our welcome needs to be delivered via a welcoming, human experience.