We’ve all heard the expression “You only get one chance to create a first impression”.
But is that impression a good or a bad one? Your company’s future depends on it. A good impression will last a lifetime, but so will a bad one…only longer!
Every business communicates with the public at large in a multitude of ways. It may be the receptionist, the delivery man, the security lady at the gate, a press advert, a salesperson, a business card, a brochure or the multiple social media platforms. Communication as a whole is the lifeline that connects your business with your customer. Communication creates an ongoing ‘conversation’ that builds credibility and trust. How else does your customer know who you are, why you exist, what you do, why you are different, how they can get what you sell, what it means to them, what it means to the community, what makes you special, etc. Every single time your business engages with the public it generates an ‘experience’. This experience translates into either a spectacular, or ordinary, or indifferent, or negative memory of the business. Each experience is unconsciously and/or consciously perceived by the public to be favourable and applicable to them, or the opposite. Coffee aroma in a coffee shop is a favourable experience, and bad smells in a grocery store are most definitely not! A cheerful delivery guy is a favourable experience, and a grumpy security guy at the gate is not. Never underestimate the communication power of human engagement. We experience it ourselves every day and it either pleases you or disappoints you.
Communication strategies in companies do not only revolve around putting an advert in a paper or launching a Facebook profile. The task is far more intrinsic to the company as a whole than most companies care to realise. Human behaviour and engagement plays a huge role in attracting and keeping customers…or chasing them away
Staff communication and interaction with customers is massively influential. My pet hate is the “receptionist from hell!” And it doesn’t mean that s/he may be loud and abrasive, but they may simply be indifferent and helpless. Your staff, including yourself, are the most important contributors in creating a good impression for your business. By ‘staff’ we mean any individual that regularly engages in any way with your customers or suppliers. Your delivery guy, your receptionist, your security people at the front gate (even if they are not yours), your sales staff, your client executives – especially when they are in public or attending events etc. Your people are your business and their behaviour will affect the way the customer perceives your business. This principle becomes even more acute and noticeable when fewer staff are involved, and particularly if you are a one-person business.
Media behaviour also has the potential to expose you favourably or dangerously. This goes especially for all social media platforms. There’s an old advertising proverb that says “Beware when you advertise, someone may actually see your advert”. If someone sees your advertising, your Tweet, your Facebook post, your Instagram image, what does your message leave behind? It’s not just about saying something, it’s about promising and/or proving something. Do you live up to your advertising? Do you back up your promises at every level? Do you behave appropriately? Do you create a good impression?