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Create a Winning First Impression with Customers

  
  
  
  


describe the imageCustomers often make a decision about your business within the first few minutes
of visiting your establishment. Make sure those initial moments count by focusing on your first impression with your customers.

We have seven ways to create a positive, long-lasting impression that will transform first-time visitors into loyal customers.

The Greeting

When a customer walks into your business, are they greeted right away in a friendly manner? Train your staff to say hello to everyone who walks into your establishment. This simple act develops an immediate rapport and puts a possibly apprehensive new visitor at ease.

The Office

The condition of the office will also play into a customer's first impression. If the place is messy and disorganized, the customer might assume that your staff is messy and disorganized as well. Encourage service reps to keep their stations neat throughout the day to exude a professional image to everyone who approaches.

The Appearance

Like the appearance of your office, the appearance of your staff can put a customer at ease – or turn them off – within the first few moments in your business. Part of customer training should be in teaching staff how to dress appropriately for their job and industry. Dress codes can also ensure staff comes to work looking appropriate every day.

The Environment

Does your office exude an air of professionalism, or does it appear too loose and casual to first-time customers? In some industries, a more casual environment is appropriate, but new visitors should still get the impression that your staff is competent and ready to do a good job for them.

The Wait

Some industries do require customers to wait for assistance from time to time. If a first-time visitor will have to wait for service, make sure they are greeted right away and made comfortable for their wait. Offering coffee and tea in your lobby, along with comfortable furnishings and even soft music, can make the wait more enjoyable.

The Inquiry

Customers come into your business for a reason, and the way your staff handles that initial inquiry will make all the difference in whether that customer comes back for more. Employees that are adept at actively listening to customer issues and finding appropriate solutions efficiently will always make the best first impression on new customers.

The Big No-No's

In addition to all the "dos" we have listed above, there are a few "don’ts" to avoid as well, including:

• Personal conversations between staff members in front of customers
• Negative conversations between staff and anyone in the office
• An "overworked" attitude that conveys to customers your employees are too busy for them
• Eating, making personal phone calls, or gum chewing in front of customers

When you are able to focus on the positive suggestions and avoid the negatives at all costs, your customers will get a good first impression of your business nearly every time they walk through your door. That important initial attitude will make all the difference between a one-time visitor and a regular patron for your company.

- Meredith Estep

Comments

We all know what it's like to get a bad first impression of a business. Sometimes that is all it takes to decide not to give them my business.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:05 AM by Alan
Greeting customers with a high level of professionlism goes a long way!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:45 AM by Kristy
After a recent retail experience I can vouch that first impressions make a huge difference! Just having a rep that is willing to help and is enthusiastic will convince me to work with any specific company.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:51 AM by Emily
The Big No-No's of customer service seem to be common sense, but unfortunately these No-No's occur too often. Be sure to remember that customer service is not just the service that is given, but it is reflected in the attitude in which the service is presented.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:51 AM by Jenny
Be prepared for last-minute guests as well! You never know who or when someone will walk through the door!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:03 AM by Keri
You get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it's a good one!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:20 AM by Lisa
One bad experience has certainly caused me to dread ever contacting that company again. A great first impression and follow-up goes a long way when it comes to making customers feel not only comfortable, but also confident in your business.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:33 PM by Brittni
I had an experience recently where the clerk made me feel like he would rather be anywhere than helping me. I feel sorry for all the customers that he helped that day! It is so important to be friendly to all of your customers, no matter what kind of a day you're having!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:21 PM by Roxanne
It is surprising to me as a customer how many times I have had to wait on an employee to finish their conversation before I would even be acknowledged. Most times I have just waited until the conversation was finised, but my first instinct is to walk out. Such an important point!
Posted @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:48 AM by Stacy
While it should not be a must...because is assumed, its safe to say that Hygene its on the list as well. You will be surprise how unpleasant some details are!!
Posted @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:07 PM by Lauren
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