It’s estimated it only takes somewhere in the region of three to seven seconds for someone to form their first impression. When the customer has a poor first impression it means that you have to work exceptionally hard to change that perception.
If a customer has a bad experience early on and comes with a preconceived idea that they’re going to be disappointed they’ll look for every opportunity to find fault to back up that perception!
Give them an amazing first impression and even if at a later date we get things slightly wrong they’ll be far more forgiving.
That first impression starts way before the customer steps foot into your business. It begins:
- when they first hear about your business
- when they do their research (e.g. looking at your website and online reviews)
- when they make their booking
- when they travel
- when they first arrive and are trying to locate your venue
- when they pull into your car park or walk up to your front entrance
It’s easy to assume that you can’t do anything to influence these first impressions.
But there are simple things you can do such as:
- picking up anything that is confusing on your website
- alerting managers or responding to negative comments on TripAdvisor or Facebook
- the way you answer the phone and the information you give
- checking your travel and location details are accurate
- making sure the venue is clearly signposted and easy to find
- the speed at which you respond to any enquiry or request for information
- keeping an eye on how everything looks as you arrive or at the entrance
All these will go a long way to building trust and ensuring an early positive first impression, even before the customer arrives.
Take some time to think about this before moving on.
In your role what can you do to help create a great first impression for your customers?
It may be helpful to note down your answer, why not discuss with your manager for ideas.