Research on first impressions confirms two very fundamental facts: first impressions happen rapidly and subconsciously.
The old adage is true: you never get a chance to make a first impression. Because once that impression is made, our tendency towards confirmation bias means we are looking for evidence to support that impression and ignoring evidence that contradicts it. In other words, first impressions are hard to overcome.
If the first impression is a positive one, that can work for us and our organizations. If the first impression is a negative one, then we start the relationship with a negative balance in our brand deposits account, so to speak.
In thinking about first impressions, I pondered the many ways organizations had made poor first impressions on me, and as a thought experiment, I set a timer for five minutes and tried to list as many ways as I could remember.
Here are some of the ways organizations have not made a positive first impression on me as a customer. I shudder to think as I start the timer that there will be sins on this list that my businesses or employees have committed as well.
So, there we go: 5 minutes and 21 ways that companies have not made a good first impression on me as a customer!
I’m sure I’ve missed quite a number. What are some ways organizations have made bad first impressions on you?
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.