From an early age, we're told that 'First impressions count!' From your first day at the new school, 'freshers' week, that job interview, the induction day at work, that first sales appointment, all those network meetings! Of course 'first impressions' count but so do 'last impressions'! The last 'interaction' with an individual, a business or an organisation is often the one we remember - provided of course that there is something worth remembering!
Most of us understand the power of word of mouth (and of course, 'word of mouse'), but that only works when there's something worth talking about!
I remember leaving a hotel after a conference I'd been speaking at a couple of years ago and as part of the 'conference team' I got a lovely personalised 'thank you' letter from the hotel manager in a little brown bag that also contained an apple, a chocolate bar and a bottle of water for the journey home!
How about that for a 'nice touch'? Simple, personal and memorable! What made the experience even better was the fact that the presentation I had been giving was all about 'customer delight'! I mentioned it in my 'follow up' notes to over 200 participants and many, many others!
'Last impressions' can be built into how you do business and, in no real order, here are 10 I've seen or experienced:
- The 'follow up' call after the delivery to check that everything had arrived safely.
- The 'personalised' response from a manager of a business to whom I'd made a specific feedback comment to on their form. I'd praised a particular team member in a customer feedback questionnaire and his note to me acknowledged that particular individual was a great employee and that he would pass on my praise.
- The conveyancing law firm that sends you a 'welcome to your new home' card when you move in (and there's no bill in the card!)
- A client of mine who got dropped off at the airport and was told by the taxi driver to have a safe flight as he gave her some boiled sweets for the journey with her receipt!
- The 'thank you' note for paying your invoice on time.
- The 'personalised' sign in reception with your name on it that says 'Thanks very much for visiting us today Andy - safe journey home!'
- The call a few days after a complaint has been resolved from a senior manager to find out how things are now.
- The 'sorry you're leaving us' note from the mobile telephone business who we had to leave because of the coverage problem at our new house.
- The 'how are things going?' call a month or two on after the installation of electrical equipment in our office.
- The dog kennels that sends a card to your home that greets you on your door mat when you get in from your holidays saying 'Dear mum and dad, having a great holiday at the dog kennels, love Bonzo x x x'!' Guess what customers say when you ask if they had a good holiday 'Yes... we got a postcard from our dog!!!!'
So, have a think, what's the lasting impression you leave with your customers? What could you do to 'make it memorable'?
Here's my effort - it's a free ebook I've put together called '(Re)Thinking in 3D - More Rants On Competitiveness, Customers and Competence' - you can download it free from here.
Thanks for reading - Hope to see you again soon! Enjoy!