There is an old expression – “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” True as this maybe, the fact is that a first great effect can wither away if a company fails to create a lasting impression on its customers. Giving the customers reason to return, to smile and to feel important is what insures a lasting impression on them. With a plethora of companies to choose from for business and a range of products and pricing – customers are in a much stronger position than before. However, only those companies can create a lasting impression that gives their customers something unique and distinct by which they will stand apart.
The key word is consistency in service, experiences and attention – the customers must receive all these in order to believe in the company’s commitment towards them. Lasting impressions do not just happen – a company must provide reasons repeatedly to establish a positive self-image in the eyes of the customer. As humans, we all need positive reinforcement and when a company is able to provide that to customers, they reward the company with more business and great referrals. A lasting impression would translate to a customer connecting a positive experience or great product to your company, irrespective of where they had the experience. This is what makes for a great lasting impression.
What are the things your company does to insure that lasting impression on customers?
- Customers approach a company for different reasons. Emotional needs play a major role in buying decisions. Customers want to feel important, look good, display a status, show-off their success and a plethora of other emotional needs. A company that is able to intuitively understand these needs and cater effectively to them will be able to make a lasting impression on customers. Proactively responding to the unspoken needs of customers, makes them believe that the company is truly committed to them and this brings about feelings of trust and dependability. Anyone running a company knows that these are amongst the top reasons that a customer does business with any enterprise.
- It is common sense that you would interact more with someone you like and anyone with a smile creates a sense of happiness and being involved. A company’s representatives that directly interface with customers should know the importance of smiling and being courteous with customers. It lets customers know that the company is happy to serve them and create experiences for them that they would remember with happiness.
- Remember and address customers by name. Doing so will tell them that your company considers them worth remembering and that it would make every effort to creating positive lasting impressions on them. Addressing a customer by name, even if they are contacting a company after a while, would instinctively make them smile and remember the company as the one that is genuinely interested in them.
- Active listening – this goes beyond merely hearing the words uttered by the customers. In order to build a lasting impression on customers, a company attuned to listening to their customers would ‘hear’ words, expressions and even body language. Sometimes people do not always say what the mean and mean what they say – an unhappy customer for example may smile but their body language and words would convey their displeasure and companies that actively listen would create a lasting impression on their customers.
- Companies must make an effort to understand their customers. Doing so will enable it to create customized products and services, and prove to customers that the company understands what they consider important and of value. Putting customers at the centre of everything that a company does, will create a lasting impression on them and assure them of the company’s commitment to their needs and interests.
- There a number of touch points and methods through which customers connect with a company. When customers receive top class service from each one, they would be sure to remember your company and be willing brand ambassadors as well.
- It is important for a company to focus on the quality of each interaction with customers. Rather than collecting huge amounts of data of prospective customers, a company must focus first on the existing customers and a niche segment of prospective ones. Doing so will ensure that each interaction creates a lasting impression such that the customers spread the word of mouth, attracting more customers for you without added effort. Rather than a sea of customers, a company would benefit manifold from a small pond of highly satisfied and delighted customers.
- It is very irritating for customers to repeat their ‘history’ with the company each time they connect with someone from it. Create a lasting impression on your customers by investing in a centralized CRM system (Customer Relationship Management system) that is accessible by anyone in the company. As soon as a customer interacts with a company all their information should be immediately visible – this would save time and effort for the customer and also let them know that the company has taken the trouble to save and update their information. Making it easier for customers to do business with you, is a great way to creating a lasting impression on them.
- It is okay to highlight your company’s strengths and achievements from time to time. Not only does a company remain in the forefront with customers, but is able to educate customers with information that they otherwise might not be able to access.
- Last but certainly not less important is remembering the common courtesies of please and thank you. It is extremely essential to let customers know that you are happy to serve them, that your company is thankful for their business, and that you would love to continue serving them.
It may be easy to create a great first impression but to create a lasting impression is a process that requires time and consistent effort.