Your prospective client is judging you from the moment they first hear your company name. That might seem like an intimidating thought; but don’t panic about it. See it as the opportunity that it is – the chance to create impact and stand out from the crowd.
If you’re ready to win more business and take your company further, here’s how to make the right impression at every stage of the customer journey.
Making the perfect first impression
- Sort your website out. If you haven’t updated your website for years, now might be the time to give it an overhaul. A dated site suggests that you haven’t got the funds to improve it, or that you don’t care. Neither of these are likely to appeal to a new client! You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch – even updating the content and the images can make a big difference.
- Check your branding. Your brand is a promise. It’s a declaration of what you can offer your customers, plus a representation of your ethos and practices. If it’s dull, unmemorable or poorly thought-out, this will adversely impact your business. Work with a team of professionals to tidy your branding up, or even change it altogether. Although it feels like a seismic step to take, it’ll be worth it in the long-run.
- Work on your customer service skills. Customers want to work with businesses who are approachable, honest and professional. If your customer service responses come over as hostile, uninterested or amateurish, it’s likely that the client will look elsewhere. All your responses (email, social media and on the phone or Skype), should fit with your brand, and convey the right message.
- Make sure the offering is good. Here’s where those USPs come into play. What makes you special? How can you emphasise that on your website, social media accounts and elsewhere? After all, it’s those USPs that’ll win you business. If your offering isn’t as impressive as you’d like, think about what you can change. For example, can you offer super-fast delivery? A more consultative approach? A wider range of products? If you’re not sure what to offer, look at your competition and see what they’re doing.
- Present yourself well. Remember, you’re a vital part of your brand. As such, you should look the part whenever you’re in front of your client; whether that’s in your shop or via a Skype video. Wear a suit if appropriate, make sure you look well-groomed, and present yourself professionally. Remember that the devil is in the details. For example, a powerful fragrance like Aventus Creed is likely to make a good impression, and if those shoes aren’t polished, trust us – someone will notice.
- Be positive. A good positive mental attitude is integral to running a business. Negativity is immediately evident to clients, no matter how well you think you’re hiding it. Approach all customer interactions as positively as possible, as this will be conveyed in the email or phone conversation.