First Impressions… You only get one chance!
First impressions are fleeting yet extremely powerful and can be formed in a split second.
Customers can form a negative impression of your business based on anything from your personal presentation to how you make them feel.
An increasing number of Australian businesses are failing to win over their customers due to simple errors in service delivery that can have a big impact on the success of the business, according to findings in the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer survey.
You may be surprised by some of the supposedly small things which can tarnish a customer’s first impression of you or your business.
Here are our Top 3 Turnoffs for First Time Customers:
- No Smile
- Staff who don’t bother to smile at customers are ultimately bad for business.
- A lack of smile often goes hand in hand with a negative attitude and can be a big turnoff – particularly for customers who are experiencing your business for the first time.
- There’s nothing appealing about being served by someone who can’t be bothered to make the effort to smile and seems disinterested in serving you.
- It instantly tells the customer you also can’t be bothered to put 100% effort into assisting them with their problem.
- If this is the message you’re sending out, then why would a customer be excited to purchase from you?One of the quickest and easiest things you can do to change the way a customer perceives you is to smile.
- A warm, welcoming smile will always draw people in and make them feel welcome.
- You should never underestimate the power of a friendly smile.
- A smile says “positive” without saying a word and it instantly makes customers feel at ease and valued – plus, it’s one of your greatest attributes, so use it regularly!
- Lack of Greeting
- Would you ever watch a guest walk through your front door at home and not say a word? Well, this is essentially what service staff are doing when they ignore customers who walk through their door.
- Unsurprisingly, this simple act can instantly make customers feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. Customers should be greeted in a friendly and sincere manner every time they connect with your business.
- A confident, effective greeting holds the key to success with customers.
- Greeting a customer and opening the conversation may be the most important part of being a customer service provider as it acts as the key that unlocks how the rest of your conversation transpires.
- Think of yourself as a host or concierge and greet everyone as they enter your workplace.
- Even during busy times when you’re working with multiple customers at once, you should ensure no customer is neglected.
- Lack of Acknowledgement
- Is there anything less inspiring for a customer than to spend precious time in a business yet never be acknowledged by the staff?
- To allow a customer to walk in, wander around and walk out – without so much as a “Hello” or “Can I help you?” – is an unforgivable way to treat customers, and an instant red flag a business doesn’t have a ‘customer first’ culture at its core.
- Customers need to feel acknowledged before they can truly feel welcome in a new environment.
- Acknowledge all customers as they enter the business and make them feel welcome.
- Acknowledge customers waiting in line at the counter. They’ll wait patiently once you acknowledge their presence.
- Remember, the Customer is walking into your world – it’s all new to them but familiar to you. Make them feel welcome and they’ll invite their friends and colleagues – which is great for business!
If a customer gets a negative impression of you or your business at any point, it’s extremely difficult to turn this impression around. The easier option is to ensure you always make a great first impression by delivering sensational service to your customers.
Like to learn more tips about how to make a great first impression with your customers? Purchase our successful Essential Service Skills online learning program. Then jump straight into:
Module 7 – ‘Instant Connections: How To Create A Great First Impression Every Time’
Module 8 – ‘The Easiest Way To Provide Exceptional Service To Every Customer’