“You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”
In our society, many people focus on making a great “first impression”. According to CBS news, the first rule to making a great first impression with someone is within the first minute of interaction. If you don’t get this right, you may never get the chance for a do over and you risk losing a customer before you have had the chance to gain one.
Think about interactions that you have when you visit a new restaurant, shop for clothing in a new neighborhood store, or go for a job interview, your first impression of those places will determine if you will return to do business with the company or even recommend to family and friends, right? The same way you feel about encounters as a customer, your customer will feel about you and your brand’s first impression.
Today with our tech savvy world, many company’s first impressions are recognized not only in store but on their websites and social media pages. Therefore, you must be careful to make a great first impression with your company’s online presents as well.
Don’t oversell on the first impression.
Whether online or in-store, trying to overdo it and not be authentic about who you are or what your company represents as a brand may later come to hunt you. It’s okay to make a “wow me” first impression but is the “wow me” experience one that a customer will get every visit or is it just to lure them in the first go around?
Think about this, it’s almost like being courted by your date and the first date goes great, you and your date go to a fancy restaurant, he opens doors for you, you have a long romantic walk in the park. By the second date you are typically more excited than the first one because you expect the second date will be better than the first, right?
Customers want consistent first impressions.
The second impression and every encounter with your customer is just as important as the first impression, why, because as a consumer, customers want consistency. First impressions wouldn’t matter if your company created a culture of experiences on how it interacts with its customers, new or old, online or offline. Treating your customer as if they have never experienced your business before every time makes making a great first impression a business standard. Creating consistency is the key to repeat business and referred business.
Give customers consistency and they will keep coming back and refer business.
Customers want to receive consistency within your business: consistency with speed of service, level of service, and the quality of service. Believe it or not a customer mentally rates your business every visit by comparing their current visit to their past visit. Therefore, with every visit you want maintain a level of consistency that will make them want to return and begin to refer new customers to you.
Example think of a time when you visited a place for the first time and you had a great experience during your first visit. The first experience led you to return for a second visit, but during your second visit the level of service declined, and you did not return for a third time.
Like the first impression made you want to go to a company for a second visit, the second visit must be just as great to make you want to return for a third time. When you create a culture of experiences that make a first impression that last, you will have customers that last.