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Business 101: Making A Favorable First Impression

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Mere seconds is all it takes for a customer to form a first impression of your business. From appraising the cleanliness of the premises to judging the quality of the décor, customers swiftly size up a business and make unfair assumptions. Although these opening impressions are made quickly, their effects can be long lasting. Fortunately, there are straightforward ways to make the most out of those brief moments and better meet your customer’s expectations.

One of the leading approaches for a business to make a good first impression is to take care of the exterior. When walking up to a new business, customers could be put off quickly by an unclean appearance, poor parking and unkept landscaping. You could avoid this by investing in a range of outdoor sanitation and planning measures.

For instance, bird waste could lead to subconscious perceptions of the facility being unhygienic. Such negative assessments are particularly detrimental for dental offices, beauty parlors and other establishments with health-minded clientele. You might avoid such unsightly waste by installing specialized bird-proofing solutions such as commercial bird spikes, utilizing pest control services and following routine cleaning practices for all outdoor areas.

Another exterior matter to consider carefully is the signage. To better entice customers inside, they should be met with inviting window displays and clever signage surrounding the entryway. These elements should reflect the brand while still engaging those already heading inside as well as every passerby.

Then, as customers make their way inside, there should be strategically placed interior displays and a welcoming reception area. Staffing this lobby with knowledgeable store associates is important, since they can direct customers, answer questions and give a friendly, on-brand greeting. Additionally, the interior design and lobby features ought to be in-line with the brand, such as color choice, logos and even staff attire.

Lastly, there’s the flow of your store’s layout to consider. Ideally, you want customers to intuitively understand the layout following the lobby. That way, they’ll get to their destination or browse leisurely without any hassle. Of course, arrows and similar design elements could clash with the aesthetic. Not to worry, you can create a clear path with intentional furniture placement, video displays and other means of directing the customer in a thought-out manner.

The customer experience is vitally important. As you assess what might be improved upon at your business, keep in mind what’s best for the customer from his or her point of view and update as needed to reap the rewards of a positive first impression.

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