Not enough can be said about making a great first impression. Today, I visited the local mall and decided to buy a pair of shoes from a well known franchise. I entered the store and noted the 2 sales reps were too busy behind the counter to take note of my presence. I browsed the aisles back and forth looking for a casual shoe. I was having a hard time finding what I was looking for so I approached the counter and asked for some help. The young woman found the shoe I was looking for and in the size I needed. No need to try them on, I purchased them and was on my way. This transaction took a total of 10 minutes from start to end. I got what I wanted right? Wrong.
I am not compelled to visit this location in the future or to recommend it to someone else. The 2 people working the store floor needed to acknowledge my presence when I walked in by sincerely saying “Hi” and making eye contact and smiling. By simply not doing this, I have now associated this store with just another shoe store. Have you ever filled out a customer survey? One of the more frequent questions I come across is “Did the sales person greet you?” The reason companies want to track this metric is because they are aware that making this connection initially with the customer is a great start to winning a customer over from the competitor.
When your customers enter your store or shop are your staff providing that instant warm greeting? If not, you maybe losing customers to the competitor who gets this right. It’s as simple to do as looking the customer in the eye, smiling and then saying “Hi”. If you are too busy to serve the customer it’s still important to make eye contact, smile and indicate with your hands how long it may take before you will be with them.
As simple as this is, consistent execution will create a good first impression.