First Impressions Count!

You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”

How true this is!  It takes only a few seconds for people to make a customer service judgment about you and your organization.  Make the first impression count in a positive way.  Here are a few of the top deal makers or breakers that you and your organization should live by:

* Acknowledge your customer as soon as possible – If this means that they are physically in your organization, smile and look them in the eye within the first 10 seconds of their presence.  Few things are more infuriating than waiting to be acknowledged by someone you are going to do business with.

*Verbally greet them with sincerity and ask them how you may help them today.  A genuine ” Thank you for coming in today. My name is _________.  How may I help you?” will do wonders for the service perception that your customer has about feeling welcomed into your organization.

*How does your place look?  Customers perceive sloppy surroundings as laziness and disrespectful.  It is easy to fall victim to becoming used to your environment and not noticing that things are deteriorating.  Things such as peeling wallpaper in lobbies, dead or dying plants, disheveled and/or old magazines, stains on chairs, and worn carpet in waiting areas speak volumes to the attention to detail that your organization will provide.  Look at the areas that your customer see with fresh eyes and be sure to pay attention the details.  On the flip side, pay close attention to the ares that your staff sees.  It is hard to expect staff to treat customers well when they are working in an environment that is not well kept as well.

“Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service” co-author Ron Zemke sums up these premise remarkably well with the following quote, “In service, everything communicates your style to customers.  The way you dress, the way you move, or whether you move at all instead of staying barricaded behind a desk or cash register.  The way you talk, the way you act when you’re not taking care of customers, but still within their view.  The way you take care of the person ahead of them in line.  All of these impressions add up to say, ‘I know what you need.  I can take care of that for you.’”

By keeping these basics in mind, you will see increased customer satisfaction levels among your clients.  They will feel that by paying attention to they way you treat them at the very beginning, you will pay attention to their need for coming to you in the first place.

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