You only get one opening moment to make your impression, whether it is in your personal or professional life, you would not want to miss out on the opportunities that lay ahead of you. Often, your first great impression will be a decisive factor for your customers to have a second meeting with you or not.
You never get the chance to make a second first impression, whether that’s in dating, networking or with a customer. More often, the customer’s first impression is usually retained as their lasting impression.
According to the research done by the Dollar Shave Club, there are 3 top contributors to forming a bad first impression, and they are:
- A 66% chance when you smell bad.
- A 62% chance when you act or be arrogant.
- And last but not least a 49% chance of creating a bad impression is when you choose to dress poorly.
These contributors emphasize how people can avoid bad impressions in first meetings if they prepare themselves ahead of time.
Many types of research highlight how first impressions can affect the overall encounter with the other person.
How can a bad first impression cost you?
As a Tradesmen in the industry, your trade workwear and work van are the first convincing points for your customers. Let me give you a bigger picture about how a first bad impression can cost your business.
In a research piece, Mashoa and Sukedo linked Price and Quality together while explaining how people’s decision to buy a product or service can be affected by various factors.
These factors include personal, social, cultural and marketing mix(The 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, Promotion). If you notice how people make their decisions, you can see that people who want quality products and services are prepared to pay more.
So how do they know they are getting quality from you? It is simple, by the first impression you leave them with. By looking at how you represent your service with your trade workwear, actions and professionalism in conducting the services, they will decide whether the price is worth their time. In other words, they see the quality and pay higher for your services.
On the other hand, if they feel that you are providing them with low-quality services then they will bargain for a lower price. As a result, your business reputation and sales will decrease.
If you are willing to make an effort and go through the process of how a first impression can have a positive impact on your business, then let us start by analyzing a customer’s journey with you.
The Customer's Journey
The first thing the customer will notice is your adverts, social media posts, flyers, etc. All of these represent your business, and the customer decides in a blink of an eye if you are right for them before they even call you.
Your business must invest in marketing the services or products in such a way that it provides a professional, trustworthy first impression for the customers. The idea is to make them curious to know more and conduct research about your business.
With the first impression the customer gets from your marketing, they may decide that you might be right for them. So the next thing they do is jump deep on your social media profile or website to “check you out”. If what you say online doesn’t match with the first impression you made in your marketing, then you have broken their trust and they won’t call you.
While your customer is digging deep into all the information available in a simple google search, you must ensure that every detail, value and service your offer in your social media platforms, websites or business cards are accurate for them to reach out to you.
Once the customer does a thorough job with the 1st and 2nd processes they move forward to contacting you, meeting you and getting a quote, each of these is an opportunity for them to confirm the first impression they got from your marketing strategy.
The way you handle your business sales and how you respond to leads will either have the customers trust your service and professionalism, or have it contradicted and lose trust in you. As a Tradesperson or Trades Service Business Owner, you must enable efficiency in your business process by using a quick and fast automated response system or use a Field Service Management Software such as the i4TBusiness platform.
i4TBusiness platforms allow businesses to provide customers with quick information and respond to quotation requests. This way you will never miss a sales lead from a customer.
Finally, your customer is going to judge you on how you deliver your services. Whether your services are consistent, professional and up to the high-quality standards they expected. If your delivery methods are not congruent with all the other steps, then your customer’s trust is broken and being perceived to deliver a fantastic job becomes harder.
So if you think about it, if you can make a great first impression in your marketing and maintain that throughout the customer journey then you will get great customers repeating purchases with you.
So what creates a great first impression?
- Appearance, as noted above, is a critical part of being perceived as a quality service provider in the industry, and therefore it can affect your ability to charge more for your service or have fewer arguments about price. So this should be reflected in:
- The quality of your marketing- Is it designed at home on a word document or by a professional graphic designer?
- Consistency- Maintaining the consistency of messaging and images between your website, social media profiles and your team.
- Your email address- Is it a Gmail or a business email? You may ask yourself what is the difference? It’s a small thing but one says small business and the other says, professional service provider.
- The quality of your vehicles and the signwriting on them. A 10-year-old van with a magnetic sticker does not say the same as a two-year-old van with professional signwriting on it.
- Your uniform- Does it match the promise you make? If you work in offices your uniform will be different to when you work on construction sites. Ask yourself this question- What is the impression your uniform makes?
- The quality of your written material, your quotes, reports and invoices. Are they handwritten or professionally delivered in a consistent format? This is where software like i4T Business can help you to create a professional first impression with a new customer.
- What is the time taken to provide quotations and invoices? Once again as mentioned earlier, this is where software like i4T Business can help your business by allowing you to prepare the quotation and invoices on-site for immediate delivery. This will give customers to ask themselves the question – When did service that efficient last happen to you?