They say that in business, reputation is everything, and impressions are a large part of building that reputation. This is immediately relevant to start-ups, as to them, the first impression is more important than anything else initially, as they may not even get another chance at it if they fail to impress.
On the other hand, if we discuss more established names in any industry, their need to impress is actually even more serious. When you have built a name for yourself in the market by being impressive for years, you have also raised the bar of expectations. To live up to their own reputation, they must remain impressive all the time.
How Does a Business Impress?
The topic of making a good business impression is as vast as any other, because it involves all aspects of business itself! From marketing and branding efforts, to what the clients see when they enter your office, it’s all connected and relevant to making a good impression.
In eCommerce, the marketing and branding creates the first impression about a new company or a new product/service during launch, while the quality of the product/service and customer care/aftersales experiences solidifies a good first impression, essentially converting it into positive reputation.
If we are talking about offline businesses with physical offices, however, there is an additional stage in between. When the clients/potential clients enter your office for the first time, the physical appearance, location, cleanliness, décor, etc. all play a huge role in creating that first, offline impression.
If there is a wide gap in standard between what the client expected to see and what they actually do see on their first visit, it will reflect very poorly on the company. To prevent that from ever happening, consider the following points which are often the most important in creating and maintaining a good impression:
A bigger office will likely be more impressive than a smaller one to some clients, but all clients will prefer a clean, small office over a large and dirty one any day of the week. This is the very reason why there is an entire industry built around commercial cleaning services.
It’s also more economic to get your office cleaned regularly or according to your needs via commercial cleaning services, than it is to put a full-time cleaning crew on your payroll. Consider hiring a company like Regional Services that you can use regularly or on an ad-hoc basis as. Their cleaning services are specific to the line of work that their clients are in (financial, legal, hospitality, dentistry, etc.) and they also offer various other services that range from handyman work to commercial waste disposal.
Business décor is not as much about aesthetics as it is about being relevant, but relevant aesthetics is still important. Cliched as it may be, it’s a fact that an office which has been decorated carefully with the business in mind feels more authentic to clients.
For example, a doctor’s office or a medical clinic should have an uplifting and bright but minimalistic décor, while at the same time, most psychotherapists prefer darker shades on their walls to promote a sense of safety, privacy and calmness in their patients.
A lawyer’s office on the other hand, is designed to be impressive directly. There will often be a strategic placement of the firm’s framed achievements and a serious and somewhat expensive design language throughout the office.
In a world where competition is fierce in every sector, your approach must be friendly, intelligent and relevant. This holds just as true for your email marketing language as it does when the sales team finally gets a chance to pitch to the client.
If a client feels that the company is trying to sell them the most expensive product/service they have, they will not be impressed. Even if they make the purchase and come to realise it later on, that’s actually worse, because the sense of being cheated will tarnish your reputation in the long run.
The idea is to provide every client with the solution they need, but also to ensure that your company is the one to provide that solution, aka product/service to them. The client knows that you will be trying to sell, so it’s your chance to impress them by giving them the solution they need, rather than attempting to upsell. It’s just not a sustainable business strategy at all in the long run.
Aside from these, aftersales service is what makes a client’s good impression of your products/services, concrete. Be sure to follow up and take feedback from them as well. When you listen to your customers and reflect their opinions in your future products/services, it makes older customers feel more attached to the business, which in turns, retains their long-term interest.