Good First Impressions in Customer Service

Dan Marshall • 27 Mar 2024 • 3 min read

The importance of first impressions in customer service

Customer service is one of the most important elements of any business. The relationships you create with your customers has a direct effect on the success of a company as their interactions with your employees will set the tone for the kind of business you are. Keep reading to explore the key components to making a positive and lasting impression on your customers.

Having a live answering service, like VoiceNation, in place helps you to present a clear and consistent voice for your business.

What is a first impression in customer service?

A first impression is the difference between a customer having a positive or negative experience of your business. Handled well, customers will come away feeling valued and heard. Handled badly, it’s likely they won’t be returning. And every minute counts. For example, let’s start at the very beginning: your greeting. When it comes to starting a conversation with a customer, it’s important that your greeting is friendly and professional. It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and the company before understanding the reason for the call and explaining very clearly what their options are. It’s these little things that make a big impact on the impression you leave your customers with.

Why are first impressions important in customer service?

We’re all familiar with the saying, ”First impressions count”. And it’s for a reason. The very first interaction you have with a business is most likely the memory that will stick. So, as a new customer, if you’ve had a really positive experience with a business, where you’ve been listened to, your inquiry has been dealt with, and the person you’ve spoken to has been nothing but helpful and polite, chances are, you’ll come back. However, if your first interaction is negative and you feel frustrated, confused and unimportant, you won’t ever willingly do business with them again. So it couldn’t be any more imperative that you get this right every time.

How bad first impressions hurt your business

It’s difficult to recover from a bad first impression. But, there are things you can do to when dealing with frustrated customers. When it comes to handling angry customers on the phone, it’s important to really listen to what they’re saying and try, even though it’s hard, to understand where they’re coming from. It’s a good trick to repeat their main points back to them to show them you have actively listened to their issue.

It’s also important to avoid putting customers on hold, as it could give them the impression you don’t care and could frustrate them even more. One other thing, and it’s happened to all of us – when we’re on a call and can’t hear what the other person is trying to say. In these situations, it’s never a good idea to assume or, even worse, hang up! Try asking customers to speak up and be clear that the connection isn’t very good from the get-go. This way, they won’t mistake a technical issue for bad customer service.

The benefits of making a good first impression in customer service

It goes without saying that with good customer service, comes a glowing business reputation. Reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations go a long way for any business, especially small companies and start-ups who are working harder than ever to grow. The biggest benefit of getting first impressions right has to be gaining valuable new opportunities. Without question, good customer service means more new business. It’s a simple yet accurate formula that any business should follow.

How to make a good first impression in customer service

Well, a very simple yet huge part of this is how you answer your business phone. There’s lots of phone answering tips out there, but the main things to remember are: keep it professional, have a positive and can-do attitude, be honest, helpful and always make sure you’re doing everything you can to put the customer at ease and make them feel like the most important person to your business.

A conversation works both ways, as we all know, which means it’s also important to remember to allow the customer to speak freely and give them the opportunity to fully explain themselves and bring up any concerns they may have. It can be tempting to cut them off and hurry them to the point, but it’s crucial you let them go at a pace that’s comfortable for them. Also, simple but important, try writing down key notes during your conversation. There’s nothing worse than having to repeat yourself to someone who very clearly hasn’t listened. Repeating their inquiry back to them will go a long way and show them you’ve understood.

Deliver great customer service with VoiceNation

Here at VoiceNation, it’s our job to ensure your customers have an amazing first impression of your business every time. We know what it takes to deliver great service and will help you capture every call with our flexible answering service. What are you waiting for? Get in touch with us directly to learn more about how we can support your business. Or, if you enjoyed this blog, have a read of some of our other articles and resources for small businesses and enterprises.