If you're a small business owner, you will realise the importance of first impressions. From the first look at your business when someone walks through its doors, to the customer service, to the way that phone called is answered – a first impression can make or break a customer's experience and, if it goes poorly, you may never see them again.
Get the look right
If you manage a shop or food outlet, for instance, it's important that you get the look right. If a potential customer sees scruffy, unkempt or unhygienic location they are likely to take their business elsewhere.
Have a good online presence
These days many businesses and shops are researched online by the consumer beforehand. If you have an out-dated or badly designed website – or don't have one at all – then it is not likely you will go on to entice this customer into your store.
It's no surprise that companies with inadequate customer service struggle. Whether it's answering a phone, replying to an email in person, being polite, kind and helpful should be at the forefront of your interactions.
Can you think of any aspects of your customer service that could be improved upon? Inviting some of your customers to complete satisfaction questionnaires can provide insight into what your business is doing right or wrong when it comes to customer service. This can put you in a more knowledgeable position so that you can make a change if necessary.
A personal touch
These days, with all the impersonal contact going on in the online world, many people no longer go the extra mile or add a personal touch to their customer service.
Do what you can to be helpful and make a difference to a customer, even when there's nothing in it for you. In the end it's the little things that will make your company stand out.
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