The image of a business is everything. It’s how customers encounter it for the first time and it can the relationship in the few seconds it takes to make a first impression. That first impression can be made just about anywhere, however. That means you really do need to prepare for the myriad ways a consumer can see your business for the first time.
It’s how you want most people to first see the business, so it’s obvious that most of the effort is going to go into the marketing of the business. Online, this is all about how you bring people to the site and ensuring it gives the right impression. Using targeted content, landing pages, and conversion rate optimization, you can craft a site that’s more than just planting a flag on the internet. You can make sure it’s telling potential customers exactly what they want to hear.
Word-of-mouth is often taken as a more trustworthy gauge of how a business is, however. Past customer relationships gone sour, misleading content from other sources, and lingering news that’s out of date can all affect your reputation. Reputation management teams like Reputationdefender use strategies within search engines, for instance, to make sure that incorrect, negative pages aren’t allowed to take top spot on the front page. Of course, even better is fostering good word of mouth by staying connected to your community online and asking for testimonials from happy customers.
If you have an engaged, motivated team that likes where they work, you should be using them to their fullest extent. Giving them all customer service training is a beginning. Branding them with things like Imagin Badges during trade shows and other public events and giving them the opportunity to interface with potential customers more offers even better results. Corporate culture matters to the consumer these days. Take care of it and let it shine through direct interaction with your team.
Whether it’s a storefront or an office, you should expect visitors at some point. Whether it’s the consumer or a business partner, the impression still matters. An office needs to be more than suited to the employees. Creating a pleasant environment and ensuring you have a proper reception, taking visitor comfort into account, makes you look like a professional. Anything else makes you look like the opposite.
Online or offline, the greatest impression is made at the point-of-sale. Handle it wrong and you can ensure that customer isn’t coming back. Online, clunky, long-winded sales processes can even lead to them abandoning the purchase altogether. From breadcrumb navigation on ecommerce sites to quick, intuitive point-of-sale terminals in the real world, tech is the way to make purchasing a lot simpler.
It takes a detailed and thorough approach to make sure that your first impressions always go well. But it’s worth it. The discovery and interest phases of the customer journey are some of the most important. Get it right and you have more chances to convert the leads you need.
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