Making a first impression is important to getting the job, so we asked our friends at Spot On Solutions to share their experiences on the topic. Spot On Solutions is an internet marketing agency for cleaning and restoration contractors. Derek, Michael, and Katie, the talented team behind SOS, have a combined 20 years of expertise.
Over the phone or in person, the way your potential customers are greeted will have a significant impact on your company. That first impression is your chance to establish a reputation for professionalism as well as make potential customers confident in your company’s ability to fulfill their needs. With so much at stake, it is crucial that your employees understand how important that first impression is.
Here are some key points to follow when making a great first impression over the phone or in person.
First Impressions Over the Phone
State Your Company Name
Saying “hello” can be a good way to strike up a casual conversation, but it does not make a great professional greeting. If your team is answering the phone with “hello,” you need to make a change pronto. A plain “hello,” can be confusing to callers, and will most likely have them wondering if they dialed the right number. Make sure your company’s name is mentioned when answering calls. It would be a shame to have a potential customer hang up the phone because they thought they misdialed.
Mention Your Name
Simply put, when you add a personal touch to a call, such as your name, it builds a stronger bond. Customer service works best when both sides know who they’re speaking to.
“How may I help you?” are magical words. It lets your callers know you are willing and ready to help them with their needs. Using an offer of assistance in your greeting is a rock-solid way to provide that positive first impression.
Answering the phone with the wrong inflection and tone of voice will have a huge impact on your first impression. When speaking in a flat and monotone voice a caller might assume that you are bored and have no interest in their wants or needs. One way to positively affect the inflection in your voice is to smile. Smiling will automatically help your voice sound more receptive and friendly.
Consistency is important, so develop a friendly, go-to greeting for your cleaning and restoration company and share it with your team. Scripted greetings that are well practiced allow you to sound comfortable and confident and will help you make a great impression every time.
First Impressions in Person
For a cleaning and restoration company, technicians are the first in-person interaction that a customer has with your company before a service can be delivered. Too often it is ignored, but your appearance is a simple, straightforward way to improve first impressions. A field technician’s appearance can create trust and reassurance or leave your potential customers scrambling to lock the door.
Making sure your technicians look good is not about vanity, it is about how your customers see you and your company. You can undermine the relationship you are trying to build with potential customers if they get the impression that you do not care about your appearance. Customers form an opinion of a company based on the interactions they have with your technicians, that includes service, friendliness, and appearance. It is crucial to have your technicians looking neat and clean, it creates a more inviting impression.
Tips on talking with technicians about appearance:
- Educate your technicians on the importance of their appearance.
- Make sure the uniforms your technicians wear are as comfortable as possible for the given season. The more comfortable the uniform, the higher the morale. It can also be beneficial to provide your technicians with more than one uniform.
- Make your expectations clear. Most companies may have the same basic dress code but have differing views on what is acceptable (tattoos, piercings, unkempt hair, etc.). Make sure your technicians know what you expect of them.
First impressions matter when it comes to your marketing. You invest time and money into making your phone ring. When the leads call you, rather than your competition, be ready! Don’t underestimate the power of a great first impression.
Spot On Solutions is a Google Managed Agency helping hundreds of restoration and cleaning companies grow their online presence.