Great first impressions - It's all in the details

In business, first impressions are everything

Whether you own it, are employed by it, or just visiting it, a business is a living entity with human attributes such as personality and even hygiene. How your customers see your business is extremely important - a perceived positive or negative disposition will determine whether a customer will do business with you - or not. Ensure that you are always putting your best boot forward.

So how do your customers see your business?

Impressions are made at a very primal level, people judge everything and everyone that cross their path - your prospects are making a subconscious checklist as they interact with you whether it's at the shop, on the phone, or on your website.

Many businesses understand the importance of making a good first impression, but maintaining it over time it is often overlooked as small details begin to slip away. Aside from the obvious financial shortfalls, quick customer exits at the store and high website bounce rates are a sure sign that a poor impression is being made.

Take a walk in your customer's shoes

To fully appreciate what kind of an impression your business is making, you need to think like your customers. With a handful of typical consumer goals in mind, visit the places where your customers find you. Think about how your prospects might react when coming into contact with your company for the first time.

Be critical, cynical, sceptical, approachable, unapproachable... imagine how your customers might be and play out each scenario. Then think about how you can improve all the potential negative first impressions and bad customer experience. Remember your goal is to ensure your customers are finding what (with respect to your position) they expect to find - products, the environment the way the customer is treated.

Walk even further

Don't give your prospective customers any reason to cross you off their list. Look at all your marketing efforts from your customers perspective and always ensure you are making that first great positive impression.

Make sure your prospects know you are the best in your class

  • Know and understand what you do best and better than the competition - promote it
  • Always present the company consistently in terms of position, philosophy and values
  • Walk-the-talk (practice what you preach - everyone, the whole company)
  • Don't ignore the smallest of details right down to the front-line staff. Your customers will see more than you do
  • Listen to what your customers are saying
  • Utilise an integrated marking approach so you can see the big picture

You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so make sure it counts!

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