- December 5, 2012
First impressions in business
There is an old saying that goes, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” which is as true in business as it is in any other area of life. If you feel that is not entirely correct, think about how you react when you are unimpressed by a business on the first visit. If you go for a nice meal at a restaurant and receive poor service or substandard food, how likely are you to return or recommend the place to friends? The most likely answer is that you would never go back and you would certainly never think about subjecting someone else to a similar experience.
For many customers, service is the key to a positive first impression of a business. This is true whether they choose to shop online or at a bricks and mortar store. A customer wants to feel as though they are important and good service is the easiest way to show that they are. That is something that is often forgotten in the online business world, with many companies routinely “forgetting” to return e-mails or post answers to questions posed on social media sites.
You have probably already heard about the importance of branding and it’s for a very good reason. Some of the biggest companies in the world are recognizable to the masses based solely on their logo alone. The nature of your business and the service that you provide is something that should be made clear to customers the moment they arrive. They may not necessarily recognize your logo right away, but they should have a definite understanding of what they can expect from you should they choose to do business.
Service and branding are just the beginning of creating a good first impression. Your goal is to deliver an experience for your customer that is pleasant from start to finish. Again, it cannot be understated how that translates from the real world to the virtual. Good employees in a store can help the customer get from front door to exit, making sure they leave with everything they need. In an online store, you need to make sure that your site is set up in a way that is easy for the customer to understand, with the checkout process being one that is easy to follow and as painless as possible.
Getting in the habit of making a good first impression will improve your business in ways that you might never have imagined. Customers will be far more willing to return and even more willing to let others know about the great experience they had when doing business with you. Your brand will soon become recognized as one that is a sign of quality and expertize in the industry, which alone is worth that little extra effort. Running a business can be difficult and it’s often hard to remain an upbeat positive attitude at all times. You have to find a way to do it, though, as it will be beneficial to you in the long run, as well as in the short.