Directors of First Impressions
My car needed the rear bumper replaced due to a collision it had been involved in, so I phoned the dealer where I bought my car and they referred me to a collision repair shop.
When I called, I found the lady on the other end of the line to be very friendly and helpful while she set up the appointment and what impressed me further was how friendly and happy everyone was when I dropped off the car. My appointment was at 8:00 am so I got to see the employees of the shop roll in one by one and everyone was smiling and greeting one another. The mood in the shop was amazing and everyone laughing and seemingly happy was a sight to see. Not only did it make waiting for my car to be assessed a real pleasure, but it was noticeable how contagious this atmosphere was: the customers bringing in their cars were all soon smiling and laughing.
Importance of the first impression
This experience made me realize the importance of the people working at the front desk. Most everyone, from accountants to lawyers and most businesses, will devote tremendous time and attention to hiring the right people to do the work in the pit, on the floor, and in the shop. But I’m curious how much thought, time, effort, and attention goes into hiring the right people to work at the front to give clients and customers the best first impressions. These front desk people probably play a far greater role in the success of your practice than you can imagine. You can have the most brilliant accountants providing the most extraordinary tax-saving ideas but, to a much larger extent than we dare admit to ourselves, whether clients come back and even refer our services probably has more to do with how visiting your firm made them feel. ‘Directors of First Impressions’ is what we call our front-end people. If you consider why people spend money, it is always for one of two reasons: to solve a problem or to feel good. What if your practice could always do both? Then how valuable would you be to your clients?
The Best Impression
Next time you walk into work, ask yourself this, ‘how inviting is this place?’. Are the colors, furniture, and pictures inviting and give a good feeling? Do your Directors of First Impressions make your clients feel welcome and happy to be there?
The Bottom line
So, if someone asked me to recommend a place to get their car fixed, who would I recommend? Of course, I would recommend this repair shop. Did they repair my car any differently than any other shop would have? Who knows? So, if they do similar work like all other collision centers, how do I differentiate? This center figured it out; they figured out how they can stand out and be different. Very simple but effective.