Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing Customer Service Training Tool of the Week – SMILE

You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression is one a favourite quote bandied about by our WorldHost Customer Service Trainer: Chartered Marketer – Christine Watson. It is also a lesson that every business should adhere to every single interaction – customers, suppliers, fellow workers, online via website, facebook, google and more.  

First impressions are formed in

a. one tenth of a second

b. two-tenths of a second

c. three to five seconds

d. 7 seconds

e. less

f. more

No matter the timescale you opt for, or believe in, the point is that we form our initial opinions of people, businesses and what kind of service we expect to receive relatively quickly.

First impressions are based on external factors such as posture, clothing and facial expression, as well as internal factors such as past experiences and bias but the opinions initially formed by us as service professionals of our customers and our customers of us as service professionals or unprofessionals are often inaccurate.

Many social experiments have been carried out by lots of different people around the world to prove that first impressions are not to be relied on – from Banksy selling his art on a market stall (customers parting with £70 found their pieces to be worth €125,000 when reselling) to famous violinist Joshua Bell busking outside a train station (only 7 people stopped to listen).

So, if first impressions are not true reflections of you, or indeed the person or thing you look upon and if it takes 8 subsequent positive encounters to change another person’s negative opinion of you, (we also seen research that states this figure is 18!); how do you go about making sure that the first impressions created of you and your service and business are accurate and better still positive? 

Photographer Jay Weinstein uses 29 powerful before and after pictures to demonstrate a simple solution – the power of a SMILE

First Impressions Project by Photographer: Jay Weinstein  https://www.facebook.com/soIaskedthemtosmile/

First Impressions Project by Photographer: Jay Weinstein
Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/soIaskedthemtosmile/

















Other useful activities, which could and should be carried out on an ongoing basis by all organisations and service professionals include:

  • Customer Touch Point / Moments of Truth Audits
  • Mystery or Secret Shopping
  • Customer Journey Analysis
  • Greeting Protocols – Procedures & Policies e.g. standardised telephone greeting
  • Management and Staff Walk-Throughs

When was the last time you assessed your first impression, that of your website, your business entrance area, your shop check out area or your product packaging – especially if you sell online and post items to customers?

Many of our retail clients receive surprise feedback after a customer service audit by Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing, from dusty product packaging you could write your name on, to electronic items being delivered in inappropriately branded boxes to negative online customer reviews on reseller sites and feedback sites such as Trip Advisor that had gone unnoticed and were unresponded to, to cite just a few examples.

‪Customer facing staff can delve in more on our ‪#WorldHost ‬Principles of Customer Service training: Module 4 – How to make your first impression a positive one

Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing deliver in-house training courses and customer service audits and Gold Star Assessments in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales on request or if our open access programme is more suitable to your needs visit www.watsonsmarketing.com/events for details of upcoming courses