During a discussion in my training session last week one of the new recruits mentioned her experience at one of our sites. Normally I am used to positive feedback, however; this was surprisingly different.
She had mentioned that when we were approached at the kiosk and asked about the offer they had in market she was told to read the brochure and if she had any questions to return. Interesting tactic. To add to that the sales person then walked off to speak to someone else.
This is just one side of the story and I have no doubt in my mind if I was to speak to the sales person in question they would give me a logical answer to why it went down the way it did. Maybe he was in the middle of a presentation and as he was grabbing a brochure he was intercepted.
What I do know is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
This got me thinking about how we might treat customers and the importance that at even the busiest time in your environment, people are representing what is happening with their own rational. Did the above mentioned sales person have a valid reason why he gave her a brochure and ran off? Probably. Will the customer see his side of the story or will she remember the encounter as a underwhelming or negative one? Probably.
Let me share with you some key points in making an affective first impression;
- Acknowledge customers within the first 60 seconds. The sooner the better.
- Greet them
- Set the expectation with the time it is going to take to serve them and offer and alternative such as a call back, a seat on the couch (if you have one) or to grab a drink and return if they weren’t happy to wait around.
- Use positive body language
- Ask questions from the start of the conversation
- Ensure work place hygiene is spot on
- Be up to date with the information you are going to provide
- Focus on your customer and not the surroundings
- Show genuine interest in your customer
- Use techniques to show your customer that you are listening
- Dress to the expectation of your customer in your profession
When you think about your own experiences as a customer you will find that we all prefer to do business with people that we know, like and trust.