Who are you as an organization? What are you known for? What will people remember about you? It always brings me back to what I was taught when I was young—the importance of making a good first impression. That old adage rang true for me today as I was on a phone call with an association booking me to speak at a conference they are having in July. This particular association serves members from universities and colleges who maintain all of the facilities on college campuses.
While on the call with the client, it dawned on me just how important their jobs are –a recent study shows that most students make up their decision on what school they want to attend within 15 minutes of being on the campus. As a parent of two college students, I can attest to the power this first impression has and how it will influence the experience and where the student wants to attend.
So let’s look at your organization. What are the impressions that your company makes on customers, or potential customers? Here are three things to keep in mind when you want to make a good first impression:
- Try to look at things from their eyes. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would you notice about the store, product, service, or in this case, campus, if you were seeing it for the first time as a customer?
- Now, dig a little deeper. Survey your customers to find out what attracted them to your company. Pick their brain about what stood out—and what possibly needs to be changed.
- Continue to look for ways to make “new” first impressions with your customers. Don’t get too comfortable with doing things the way you have always done them—that may not be the impression you want to make in the future.
I will be going to pick up my son in two weeks at his college, and I have to say, I am looking forward to not only seeing him again, but driving on the campus and seeing what MY first impression is of the facilities.
About the author
Kathy Cuff is a customer service expert and coauthor, together with Ken Blanchard and Vicki Halsey of the new book, Legendary Service: The Key is to Care. Use this link to read more of Kathy’s posts on service.