Director of First Impressions
Who is the Director of First Impressions in your company? You do have one, right? They may not have that exact title, however, that's what they really are, whether you call them that or not!
In some businesses, it could be the person who answers the phone. In other businesses, it could be the person behind the counter or a greeter in a store. That person, whoever they may be, holds in their hands the ability to delight or disappoint the customer, your customer. And how that first interaction is handled will determine if that customer does business with your company or decides to go with your competitor.
I wonder how many companies realize just how important first impressions are and the enormous impact they have on the success of their business. Many customers, myself included, decide to take their business elsewhere based solely on their first interaction with a company, whether it's with the receptionist, a waitress, a sales representative, or an automated answering system. The majority of first contacts to many companies come over the phone. Yet we often overlook the critical impressions those contacts have on callers. When a customer calls a business, the first person they talk to represents the entire company.
A good first impression starts a positive relationship with your customers. On the other hand, a poor first impression can sometime end the relationship right there. And when you factor in word of mouth and how many other people the customer may talk to about their bad experience with your organisation, you can see how important first impressions can be.
I don't know about you, but in my years of calling hundreds of companies and dealing with countless employees, I've often been talked to as if I were an interruption of their day rather than a valued caller and the reason they are there in the first place. I've been put on hold for way too long, felt like I had just woken the person up, been treated downright rudely, or been given wrong information. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself. Call your own business, and then ask yourself if you were treated in a way that would make you want to call your company again or do business with them.
If you have a vacancy for the position of Director of First Impressions in your company, or worse yet, you have the wrong person in that role now, here's how you might advertise to fill the position:
There is a wonderful opportunity awaiting the right person in our business. We feel that our success is largely attributed to our commitment to excellence and drive to be the best. We currently have an opening as our Director of First Impressions. We are looking for someone who:
- Truly enjoys interacting with people
- Has great written and verbal communication skills
- Has excellent phone rapport and aptitude for customer service
- Knows the definition of empathy and utilizes that skill when appropriate
- Is intuitive and has a proactive approach to serving others
- Has a strong work ethic and takes ownership of his/her work
- Is poised, positive, outgoing, cheerful and has a professional demeanor
- Smiles on a regular basis
- Has a professional appearance
- Demonstrates integrity, honesty, teamwork and genuine concern for others?
I wonder how many people would apply for this position if it was advertised! Perhaps it is time to review just who is filling that role in YOUR business and decide if you are comfortable with that person representing your company and providing the first impression.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.