Have you ever heard that we form our impression of a person within the first few minutes of meeting them? And sometimes, you only have a few minutes with a person to create a lasting, positive impression of you or your business. I had an experience this week that reminded me how important first impressions are.
I made a tough decision recently to change dentists.
I’m someone who is typically fairly neutral in how I feel about dentists because I typically only have to go for cleanings so it’s never been very traumatic. The dentist I had for years was very nice and seemed competent, certainly no reason to “fire” him. His dental hygienist drove me crazy though. She was messy and every time I left the office my entire face would be wet from all the water she sprayed as she tried to do her job. It was awful. So, I decided to find a new dentist.
I made my appointment after doing research on several dental options and was immediately impressed when I made my first appointment. The receptionist was not only pleasant (as she should be in her job) but she also went out of her way to ask me what some of my preferences were when coming to the dentist. The next day, I arrived home to find I had a phone message from the new dentist. He wanted to call in advance to introduce himself and ask if I had any questions or needed anything. Wow! He was already off to a good start in that first impression category.
I arrived for my appointment yesterday and the entire experience was outstanding. I was greeted by every employee throughout my time in the office. I was told what was happening by each person who worked with me. As I left with my mouth completely numb and feeling tired, I still had to smile about the positive people experience I had.
These are the kind of stories I want people to have when they interact with me in my job. It would be great if each person left feeling like even though they may not have the answer they wanted to hear, they are leaving with the answer they needed and can smile about our overall interaction. It’s easy to:
- Smile when you greet someone
- Look genuinely interested in the person
- Listen intently to what they say
- Provide expertise the person needs
- Thank the person and ask them to come back
How about you? What experiences have you had that stand out as a model for your own interaction with your clients?