We know that first impressions count, and once they are made, it is hard to change opinions. One thing is for sure, though, in a competitive business world, you have just nanoseconds to keep a customer interested. The same can be said for face-to-face clients too. If they visit your office, and the carpet is old or smells, or the walls aren’t clean, or perhaps you have scratched glass that you should’ve ordered a glass scratch repair for are seen - it’s not a great look.
So how can you always put your best foot forward and give your customers the best of you?
Almost everything in your business will come down to branding. Your branding will dictate how people see you and how they think they should interact with you - and it can even indicate your price point. If the branding between your social media and website or store isn’t cohesive, this can make potential customers feel like they aren’t in the right place. That awkward moment can lead to them leaving your website - and not coming back. Make sure that the customer gets what they expected in the best way.
Branding is also important when it comes to anything your clients might leave with to remember you by. This could be your business cards, your RFID Cards, or even merchandise they’ve bought from your small online store. Getting branding right is one of the most important aspects of any business.
If you conduct all your business online, this won’t matter to you, but if you have office space and clients simply can’t get parked - that is a nightmare situation. Even if they have budgeted their time correctly, if they have to park far away from the office and then walk - they’re going to arrive unhappy and flustered. Make sure that you have sufficient parking or have arranged a space for any visitors to the office to be able to park. This might seem like a small thing, but it shows that you have considered the client's needs to the fullest.
Ease of use
We have all had those unfortunate experiences when you visit a website that has a dark purple background, yellow text, multiple pop-up adverts - and you were simply trying to check their prices or opening times. The user experience should be something that you focus on for your own website - ensuring that you give users something that they can benefit from. Keep white space to reduce the overwhelm, and ensure that your navigation is easy to access. Your contact form should be as simple as possible too. Focus on giving your users the online experience that means they enjoy using your website - and will be back in the future.
What does your customer services look like right now? Are you responding to emails quickly? Are there automated messages that you can’t keep up with? Your customer service isn’t just for people who have made a purchase and want to make a complaint. Customer services can help potential customers to make a decision, too; if they have questions about a product, they need to know the answers as soon as possible. If you are currently using automated software and catching up with customer questions when you can, it’s time to reconsider. There are many companies that offer incredible outsourced customer services. When you have a hands-on customer service team, you will never miss a potential sale again.
If you are traveling to a client for a meeting, and you don’t have a rapport or have met previously, then you need to make sure that not only are you on time - but you are a little bit early. Consider the parking situation that was mentioned earlier. Check in advance if they have parking, and if they don’t, you need to account for the extra time you will need to find a space. It is better to leave early and arrive early so that things like traffic jams, train delays or lack of parking won’t make you miss your meeting.
The design of your office and the design of your website both come into play for first impressions. A well-designed office will automatically make clients feel welcome and ready to work. You can keep the office at a good temperature, light and airy with plenty of plants and other fun features. The first thing website visitors should see is who you are, what you do, and where they can buy, order or enquire about it. Some first impressions can be rectified; it depends on the business you are in and on the person on the other side. But most of the time, a bad user experience, customer experience, or being late is enough to put clients and customers off. Keep in mind that people who have a bad experience are likely to share that experience with others - further impacting your business.
If you are preparing to launch your business, first impressions are just one of the things that you need to keep in mind: Tips on how to take your clothing business online.