Bad first impressions

Most people are familiar with the saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression” so it amazes me how little time and thought is put into an organizations first impression.

If I call an organization the way the phone is answered is frequently my first impression of this organization. Personally, I want to speak with a real, live human being. If I get an automated system my first thought is they don’t value me or my time. While they might feel it’s more efficient to use an automated system, the question that comes to my mind is are they really saving money? I called an attorney’s office recently and the phone was answered with an automated system that forced me to listed to an entire menu before figuring out what button to push. While this might have saved the firm some money on hiring a receptionist (or a second receptionist), just one new client that results from a better first impression would pay for that receptionist many times over.

If I walk into a restaurant and have to wait a few minutes for someone to recognize I’m there before being seated, it tells me they don’t value my business. How much more business does a restaurant need in order to hire another person to make that quality first impression?

If I send an email to a company with a question, if I have to wait a few days before receiving a response, do you think this is the type of business I want to do business with? (In my case, if I’m purchasing something online and it’s not from a large, well known company such as, I’m going to email them or call them because I want to know there is a real person behind the company before I place an online order).

If I walk into a store and have to wait for help while the employee is on the phone, what message do you think this is sending me?

If I go to check into a hotel and while going through the registration process, the front desk clerk answers the phone and then proceeds to take a reservation while making me wait, what message does that send to me?

I’m intentionally having each of these examples start with issues about “me” or “I” because when your organization is making it’s first impression, it’s important to understand, as far as the customer is concerned, it’s NOT about you, it’s all about me. If you want their first impression of your organization to be a positive one, make it about them and not you.

Have a great day!


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