The importance of first impressions in business | A Blog by Business Butler

The importance of first impressions in business

When you launch a business you obviously want to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Whatever market you are in you will be up against established businesses and larger companies that will have bigger budgets and greater resources than you, making it look as if the odds are stacked against you, and to a certain extent they are. But there are ways you can level the playing field and improve your chances of success.

It is exciting when you are involved with a startup, and at times it can get quite frantic as its all hands to the pump in a rush to get ready for the big launch. But sometimes it is worth taking a step back to make sure you and your business are ready because once you go live there is no going back.

Impress from day one

This is why you need to make sure that you convey a professional image from day one because the importance of making the best first impression cannot be understated. In the manic world of business, first impressions are formed in just seven seconds - just think about that. Your business has been all consuming and probably been your focus of every waking hour, and probably while you were asleep too. All that hard work and money you have invested into your business for the months leading up to launching can count for nothing if prospective customers aren’t impressed with you, your business or the service received. If you don’t treat them the way they deserve to be treated they will go elsewhere. Frightening to think that it all boils down to a matter of seconds. The saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression is true.

You need to provide the best possible service at every touch point with your customers and communication is key. One important area where you can provide a professional image is via your telecoms system. By investing in the latest technology you can punch well above your weight.

Communication is key

A VoIP system transforms the way a business communicates by enabling calls over the internet. With a VoIP package, a small business can enjoy many features that, prior to this new technology, would have only been the preserve of much bigger and wealthier companies.

These features include an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) menu, which is either pre-recorded or computer generated and assists, directs or routes calls instead of a live operator. Automatic call distribution (ACD) is another advantage and places callers in a queue until there is someone available to take the calls. A VoIP system can also play on hold music, ring groups, voicemail and much more. These systems are completely mobile and great if you are out and about with your job because you can answer them on your laptop or desktop too.

You will be familiar with many of these features from calling your bank, insurance company or favourite retail company. Because of these experiences when contacting the larger corporates and high street brands we associate these technological features with professional, efficient, large companies. This is a great image to convey, even if you are a small startup with just two or three staff. 

Stand out from the crowd

As shallow as it may seem we tend to judge a book by its cover so when faced with the choice of two businesses who offer the same product at the same price we are more likely to choose the business that seems the most professional. So would you rather purchase from a company with the latest telecoms technology installed, or someone who uses his personal mobile to handle business calls. I know where I’d rather spend my money.

Remember that it is not only prospective customers who will be impressed by your professionalism but potential investors too. And although they probably won’t admit it, your competitors will give you a nod of approval.

Momentum is a powerful force so if you start making the right impression with customers from the beginning then the benefits for your business will escalate. However, it is equally important to make sure you keep on making the right impression with your current customers because the cost of acquiring a new customer can be five times that of retaining an existing one.

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