Research has indicated that, when meeting people, most of us will have an impression of them within just seven seconds – so it’s fair to assume impressions of your business will be made in roughly the same time frame.
When your business’ success or failure is on the line, the idea of such rapid impressions can be rather disconcerting. A good first impression of your business could lead to a long, healthy, profitable relationship with a customer; but a bad one could mean you lose their business forever. As a result, it’s well worth taking the time to evaluate the following areas where your customers are most likely to encounter your business for the first time, and see if there is any room for improvement…
#1 – Your website
In the ever-more digital world of modern business, your website is highly likely to be the first area that a prospective new customer encounters in regards to your business. It’s therefore vital that you invest in the two key business website essentials of usability and speed, so you can be sure that new customers will want to stay on your site, browse your products or services, and hopefully convert.
#2 – Your product packaging
While we have all been raised with the idea that what’s on the inside is what really counts, we humans can’t help the fact that we’re attracted to things that look good – we’re visual creatures, plain and simple. Due to this, your packaging needs to make a positive impression on customers if you are to stand any chance of achieving good sales, so if you are not doing so already, opt for high quality and bespoke packaging that is designed to catch the eye and make a customer want to learn more.
#3 – The language you use
For many people, the language a company uses across their website, social media, and even their product labelling is vitally important to their first impression. It’s advisable to take the time to create a vibrant, recognisable voice for your brand, and also to be particularly cautious of avoiding basic grammar and spelling errors – there are plenty of grammar pedants, particularly, who will dismiss a business that makes simple, avoidable mistakes in this area.
#4 – Your premises exterior
If your business has a physical location that customers are expected to visit – such as a retail store – then it’s essential to ensure the exterior is clean, well-presented, and managed at all times. A particular area to be cautious of is weeds; nothing makes a business look rundown and out-of-date like prolific weed growth on the pavement or car park.
#5 – Your staff
Finally, it’s worth looking into hiring a mystery shopper to see how your staff perform when encountering a customer for the first time. A cheerful greeting, along with a smile, goes a long way to creating a positive first impression that also helps to ensure the customer feels at ease.
By evaluating your business’ existing performance in the above areas, and seeking improvements where you have identified issues, you can be confident that your business’ first impressions will always be as positive as it is possible to be.
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