First Impressions do they really matter?
When one person meets another person, object or scene, they form a mental image. Many studies show that a first impression is formed in milliseconds and they are made primarily from visual clues that we receive. When it comes to making a good impression to our customers or potential customers, it is so important that the first impression has to be right… the first time.
REMEMBER: To your customers, every person that works in your business is your business! Many Companies make the mistake in thinking that only the people who need to be concerned about making good impressions are those in a front facing role. I was served in a furniture store last week, the sales assistants were brilliant. However, the products I needed were on a high shelf so another assistant was required to use a fork lift truck. From the warehouse appeared a grumpy Fork Lift Truck Driver using bad language and being rude to colleagues.
It’s doesn’t matter where a person works within an organisation, front facing or not, to the customer all employees are the face of the business. The part that concerns me the most is that when a first impression is made, they are very difficult to change; research says it can take up to 18 encounters to change a negative first impression. In your company, do you have the resources and time to correct someone’s impression of you, your team and or your business?
Here’s some simple tips:
- Check appearance before interacting with customers; place a mirror on the back of the last door between the staff area and the customers.
- Keep front entrances and public areas clean and tidy; this suggests that your work is important and you care about the comfort of others.
- Ensure that you greet all customers, don’t assume they have been greeted by someone else; give everyone consistent brilliant service.
- Be aware of your body language – facial expressions and posture. Negative body language is much louder that words and will form a lasting impression.
- Most importantly – ensure that your entire workforce are fully aware of your standards for delivering excellent customer care for their first, second….every customer encounter.