Ten Seconds to a Positive First ImpressionCustomer Service Training Resource
August 16, 2013 — 5,500 views
Creating a good first impression can help you a great deal in your professional life. A good first impression will help strangers feel more comfortable around you and open up to you more easily - something that can be of significant help in the customer service field. You should never underestimate the power of a great first impression - especially because the human brain usually comes up with its own interpretation of a first meeting with a new person. Being able to understand exactly how to maximize your chances of making a good first impression will help you a lot while dealing with customers.
First Impressions on the Phone
While making a first impression face-to-face will depend on an individual’s charisma, charm as well as eye contact; speaking with someone on the phone is more complex as all these traits must be communicated solely through your voice. Confidence, charisma and charm need to be aided with a soothing voice, especially if it is an emotionally charged situation. Make sure that you have the right information before you speak to the customer. Lack of proper information may lead to a distrusting relationship with the customer. Once a prospective customer has lost faith in your knowledge; it will take a long time and significant hard work to earn that trust back.
Clarity in speech is something that is often neglected. Since the only aspect of your persona that the individual on the other end of the line is responding to is your voice, it is important to be as clear as possible. Stuttering or unclear speech will exacerbate the frustration of the individual you are conversing with. This may cause him to develop an opinion of your firm as being incompetent.
First Impression to the Person
Dealing face-to-face with an individual has its own challenges. For instance, being poorly dressed will send out an impression of not being professional enough. Make sure that you are dressed well and appropriately while communicating with customers. Also making sure that your approach reflects an attitude open to consultation.
The importance of your posture is very often underestimated. Sitting up straight radiates a certain confidence that gets the customer interested in what you have to say, and also makes him believe and trust you. If you are standing, make sure that you are standing tall and pushing your shoulders back while holding your head straight. Smiling is another aspect that a number of people forget about. A smile makes you appear to be approachable and friendly - essential in being able to develop a good first impression.
Make it a Priority
Creating a good first impression is essential while dealing with new people in a customer service role. You need to garner trust, not only in yourself, but also in the brand and firm that you represent. At the end of the day, the customer will regard you as the face of the organization that he or she is dealing with.
A number of surveys that have been conducted over the years show that a person will usually not take longer than about 3 seconds to develop his or her first impressions about an institution or organization. This is why, as soon as a person walks in through your front door, make sure that he or she is greeted well.
In the event that the situation is a pre-arranged business meeting, being on time is essential in order to create a professional impression. Being late for a meeting also shows a complete disregard for the other individual’s time.