First Impression of Your Business

When a prospective customer encounters your business, it's important to put yourself in their shoes. No, really, take a few minutes to step outside of your perceived impression. Do they walk into a storefront? Do they see your social media updates? Do they stumble upon your website? What is the first thing they see? If you had to guess, what do they think or feel? Be honest as you answer these questions.

If you suspect their experience was lackluster or forgettable, chances are you're right.

Growing up, my mom volunteered to clean homes for the elderly members of our church. They were usually confined to their home with limited access to the outside world. Because she couldn't afford a babysitter, my mom towed me and my sisters along to assist her (yes, she gave me a scrub brush and Pine Sol at the ripe of age of six). One afternoon, my mom approached the home of a new parishioner who needed help. As soon as he opened the door, a sour stench seeped through the screen door.

My mother gave each of us a quick, stern look. This look loosely translated to: Don't you dare make a face or say a darn thing about the smell because the good Lord will strike you down if I don't do it first.

As we cleaned his house, we learned he was losing his vision so he couldn't see the mess he had created. A few hours later, we left his home and my mom promised to return every couple of weeks to help him stay on top of things. Years later, I think back to this experience with a fondness for my mother and a life lesson: if you sit in your own space long enough, you won't notice the smell.

In order to get a real sense in how people are experiencing your brand, think back to the most recent interaction. The best way to experience your business' first impression is by stepping outside of what you know and putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer. In order to create an amazing experience, you have to truly understand ways to wow a customer from the moment they encounter your business. With or without a bottle of Pinesol.