First Impressions: 5 Ways to Start the Customer Journey Off Right

Are you using your 7 seconds wisely? Here are some ideas that can help you make a better first impression with customers and clients at your place of business, to start the customer journey off on the right foot.

customer journey good first impressionIf seven seconds is all the time you have to make a good first impression, it’s vital that you pay attention to the details customers encounter first. When was the last time you took a fresh look at all of the places where a customer journey might start?  While your social media profiles, email and your website should come to mind, physical spaces like offices and store locations might also mean you need to evaluate reception desks, stations (often in the style of podiums) where hosts and hostesses wait to greet guests, and kiosks that are designed to make it easy for customers to get information or engage with your brand as they pass by.

First impressions matter, no matter what business you’re in.

No organization can afford to believe that what they have to offer is so singular that they can afford to make a bad first impression. Bad first impressions can send a prospective client right back out the door or tip the scales against your business in favor of competitors. And this is true, no matter what business you’re in. From dental practices to restaurants to legal firms or mall-corridor retailers, the perception your customer journey launching points make in the minds of people will impact the value they assign to your brand and business.

5 Details that Can Improve the First Impression in the Customer Journey

Stand out.

Bland, boring décor will fail to make a positive first impression. It won’t attract attention, draw people in, or bring people across a crowded space to see what’s there. Your reception, greeting, hostess, attendant or whatever else type of desk, station or kiosk you have must make a bold statement that screams, “Start here!”

Reinforce brand identity.

In addition to drawing people in and making it safe for them to ask questions and explore your organizations products and services, your first impression moments can also make or break customer perceptions when it comes to your brand’s value and meaning. Even simply infusing your brand’s color palette into your décor (including reception, greeting and display areas) can help, because color is the strongest visual component that most consumers point to when it comes to making purchasing decisions. There’s a good reason that the same company who advertised using the phrase, “What can brown do for you?” clothes not only their workers but their trucks in their signature color!

Be approachable.

Nothing screams “go away!” like an attendant or receptionist who can barely be seen from the other side of (what can only be described as) a barricade. Curved walls and desks, cut outs and even simply stationing greeters in front of a desk, bar or kiosk can create an instant customer perception of approachability for customers.

Make contact.

Whether you’re engaging people through visual markers and signage or you have a real person ready to say hello and discover just where they are in the customer lifecycle (brand awareness and introduction, product or service education, ready to buy, post-transaction, retention or repeat buyer) and make it easier for them to do what they want to do next.

Be helpful.

The user experience isn’t just for website visitors. The more you understand the customer lifecycle and buying journey, the better your ‘first impression’ moments can help move people to a point of conversion.


My 2015 Small Business Marketing Calendar is available on — in print or digital format. It is absolutely packed with marketing inspiration and a working content marketing plan you can use to attract – engage – retain and motivate your customers in the coming year.

2015 small business marketing calendar template








good first impressions on the customer journey

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  1. […] You might even have an idea of what works – and what doesn’t – in the customer experience your business provides. Or maybe you don’t.  Maybe you’re so busy doing business that stopping to find out how to do […]

  2. […] you analyze these and other customer touch points you may have identified that occur before you even get a chance to pitch your business or its […]

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