Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Face Of Your Company

The first impression of your company is probably the most important impression you'll ever make & in many cases, it's the only impression you'll ever make.

This initial impression can be made in many forms including your website, what you say on Face Book or how you portray yourself on other social networking sites. There are marketeers out there to tell you how to enhance your image on those sites. I want to talk to you about two other areas where first impressions can make or break you: actual personal contact & promotional imprinted products.

Great customer service must be delivered from the first touch-point to the last. It should start with your selection of suppliers & continue through your organization--from the first line of contact when the phone rings, to order entry--& all the way through to the moment your program is delivered to the client & their end-users.

Does everyone in your business know that they are personally accountable for creating a "World-Class Customer Experience" that exceeds the customer's expectations? A receptionist, or the first person to greet you when you walk in the door or call on the phone, is responsible for setting the tone of your company. Dan Schawbel wrote, "Since people are the face of the company, there must be an emphasis on each person who represents the corporate brand."

The customized promotional items you hand out also make an immediate & lasting impression. It's important in this area of advertising that you don't cut corners & think your recipient will be happy with anything that is free. Wrong! If it doesn't work, if it's not useful to him or if it spells "cheap", he'll toss it in the garbage & forget about you........or if he does remember you, it won't be in a
positive way. The impression you left him with is a company he doesn't want to do business with.

The promotional imprinted product you hand out is an instant visual identity to your company. It's a first impression to someone who has not heard of you before. One of the main purposes of visual identity is to make you stand out & be distinct from your competitors. Your business has a value proposition, that is, you promise customers a reason to choose you. You've told them you're worth their time to seek you out. Your product or service is worth their time & investment.

Suppose you said, "Nothing we sell or do is of any particular interest." Suppose you said, "Shop here because our prices & quality is the same as everyone else's." Not a great first impression. So then, why communicate that visually?

For two years I've been writing articles telling you how important it is to stand out from your competitors & how to make an impact so you'll be remembered. Promotional custom products not only make it possible, but make it easy to do in a manner that will fit any budget. I've said this before & I can't say it enough, the promotional product you give out must be relevant to your company & be useful to your client or future customer.

To achieve a good first impression for new customers & maintain an excellent lasting impression among your older clients, look at your business through their eyes. Are you someone you'd like to do business with? Are you giving the service you expect from the companies you deal with? It might be a good idea to ask your customers where they think you excel & where they think you could do better.

And last--let your smile be your very first impression, the true face of your company. Whether it's actually seen or only heard in your voice, it can work magic & make a lasting impression.  Good luck!

Ronni Sherman

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