By: Shad Bookout
There is a body of science that occupies its time theorizing about the day that life not of this planet makes first contact with us. Some people believe that this has already happened. Regardless, countless of hours and millions of dollars have been dedicated to the study of what happens when this first contact occurs. Everything from public reaction to how to deal with potential invasion has been examined. It is unfortunate that such focus is spent on this when the most interesting discussion of first contact happens every day with our new customers.
Long before fort contact has been achieved, your customer has already been studying you. They have looked at your website, they have read online reviews, and they may have even visited your social media sites. Your customer will know more about you than you realize when they arrive for first contact. Now the fate of the future lies with you. How you look, how you behave and what you say is vital to ensuring your customer is motivated to continue on with their experience – or send them running for the hills.
These first impressions are everything. The adage is correct that you “never get a second chance to make a first impression”. So what are you doing to guarantee that your customer continues on? When they walk in, be sure to stand up and greet them warmly. Ask their name and use it throughout the conversation (avoid gender-specific language). Keep your entire focus on them throughout. Remember they are the reason that you are there. A great way to make sure that you care about the things they say is to take notes throughout the entire process.
Another part of making a great first impression is properly setting the stage to not only meet, but to exceed your customer’s expectations. Do you look that part and, for that matter, does your office and desk look the part? What will your customer see before they even walk in the door? All these factors play an important role in effective first contact.
But first contact does not end there. The impressions you are able to make continue long after your customer has left and you can still do things to enhance their experience. Prompt and personalized follow-up to any questions, concerns or additional needs is vital. Also, did you select the most effective method to communicate with them? Many people are now steering away from contact via traditional methods such as phone and email, and instead prefer digital methods such as SMS (Text Messaging) and social communication apps. Keep in mind that your customers will remember you (both good and bad) long after their first contact.
In order to plan and execute successful first contact, it is important that you have the time needed. That means eliminating the large volume of distractions attacking you in the office each day. A large portion of this may come from a seemingly endless stream of packages arriving from delivery companies such as FedEx, UPS, and The US Postal Service. The package management and notification tools from the cloud-based system, PackageLog®, enable you to remove these distractions and get back to taking care of your customers.