First impressions always count when you’re trying to impress a potential new client. Their impression of your business setup, and how you look after it when they come and see you all need to be spot on. Your aim is to create an excellent customer experience from the very first moment they’re in your care until the time comes for them to go.
Whether you are organizing a charter bus rental if you are expecting a number of delegates at one time, or greeting a CEO on their own who wants to talk about a deal there are some protocols and pointers it might pay to follow if you want the meeting to end on a positive note.
Here is a look at ways to ensure you get everything right and create the perfect customer experience.
1. Make sure everyone is on the same page
You might be understandably keen to create the right impression when you greet the client at your office but there is a good chance they will meet someone else when they arrive before you have your own meet and greet. That is why it is essential that every person that is fronting your business, such as the reception staff, is on message and understands how important it is to greet every visitor with a welcoming smile and a helpful attitude.
A sullen or unhelpful receptionist can put the whole customer experience on the backfoot and make it harder for you to win their trust and their business. A welcoming smile will be the perfect start to the customer experience, so train all of your employees to appreciate how important it is to create a professional and helpful persona when representing your business and coming face-to-face with clients.
2. Make them feel special with a lobby board message
It is a simple touch but one that is so effective, so think about creating a personalized message for your visiting client that lets them know how special they are and how much you value their visit. A simple welcome message often pays dividends and this small gesture often delivers an excellent return in creating a favorable impression from the moment they walk through the door.
3. Keep clutter out of the office
Whenever you step inside a new and unfamiliar space you will often glance around and get a first impression that you often remember and take away with you. That is why it is essential that your workspace is clean and tidy and the aim should be that your decor and workspace is aesthetically pleasing on the eye and is a reflection of your professionalism. If the office is untidy and it all looks a bit tired and run down what does that say about your business?
4. Refreshments are a bonus
You will doubtless offer your guest a drink when you sit down to start your meeting but it can also make a good impression if you have a decent self-serve coffee machine and a water dispenser that visitors can use while they are waiting.
Even consider putting some fresh fruit and some healthy snacks in the waiting area as well, as this might be very welcome if they have traveled a long way and it is a courteous thing to do which shows you like to look after your visitors.
5. Be open about your business
If your business has prepared a mission statement or abides by some guiding principles that all employees are expected to follow it makes sense to let your visitors know what this message is. Put the mission statement in a prominent place in your reception area or in your meeting room so that visitors can see what you are all about and what values you subscribe to. It also displays an extra air of professionalism when you show potential clients that you have a vision and understand the importance of working to a set of core principles.
6. Having a strict dress code is a reflection of your business standards
You may well have walked into an office yourself at some point and been surprised at the dress code, or lack of it. Some companies encourage a casual attire to promote a relaxed atmosphere but if you are running the sort of business that doesn’t fit that profile you don’t want visitors to be greeted by the sight of employees looking less than smartly dressed.
The main point to remember is that it pays to have a dress code and ensure that everyone sticks to it, as this creates a distinct impression when visitors are being shown around your premises. If it is appropriate and relevant, you might even consider some branded workwear for all employees.
7. Greenery is good
There are several advantages attached to adding greenery to your office space. Fresh and attractive foliage dotted around the building creates an aesthetically pleasing environment and greenery is also good for encouraging a calmer mood and a more inviting atmosphere. Investing in some plants could be a good move as it will be beneficial for employees and improve their working environment plus it will create a positive impact when visitors enter these more serene surroundings.
8. Go the extra mile
There is a vast difference between feeling like you are being schmoozed and sitting across the table to someone who seems genuinely engaged and interested in what you have to say. If you have had that experience yourself you will want to make sure that visitors have a feeling of genuine engagement rather than them thinking that you are dazzling them just to win their business. It’s not rocket science, all you have to do is actively listen to what they are saying, remember some key details or personal information that they shared with you and engage on a human level rather than treat the encounter as just a business deal, even if that is what it is at the end of the day.
If you follow these simple steps you stand a good chance of creating the right impression and winning over a client who could then become a valued customer, all because you did all the right things when they came to visit.