First Impressions .. and Second, and Third

When did you last take the time to experience your business as a customer? First impressions, and second and third, often count. How customers perceive you in person, online or over the telephone can impact your bottom line.

When you walk in the front door is this the impression you want to give to your customers?  Are you greeted?  Does the furniture and décor in the lobby fit the image you are trying to portray?  If you are kid-friendly, do you have small size seating, a play area or both?

I recently experienced an example of a poor first impression from an auto oil change business.  I walked into the lobby to find a big hole in the drywall about waist high next to the counter, the drinking fountain filthy, and the chairs dirty and stained.  My impression was that they didn’t care enough to clean for me.  As I sat and waited for my car I wondered how the service technician was treating my car.  I half expect to find oil dripping down the front of my hood as I drove away.  Would I go back there? Probably not.

Now be your customer and call your business.  How many rings did it take to answer?  Did your employees answer the phone in the manner you expected?

Visit your Web site.  Can customers find the information they need?  Are your locations readily visible?  Are your hours easy to find?  Can you find your contact information without much searching?

Take the test by doing these three easy steps and see how you “score.”  Are you giving your customers the impression you want?

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