The Secret to Making a Positive First Impression In The Office

office first impression

What do people experience when they walk through your front door?

Remember: the opportunity of a first impression never repeats itself. Whether positive or negative they are formed in seconds and are based on a person’s feelings, not from reasons or impartial observations. Once lodged the initial impression is easily reinforced yet is extremely hard to remove. A relationship can be doomed from the start by a poor first impression regardless of how good the overall performance is, while a good one, through considerable adversity, can still be preserved.

The Receptionist Greeting:

Hire the smile and teach the skills needed for this position. Many companies use the receptionist as an entry position until the employee is experienced enough to move on to other work. The receptionist is often the newest staff member with the least knowledge of management, clients and the work of the company. A prospective client rings up or a new client comes in for a meeting. The receptionist greets them. These people haven't spoken to anyone else from your company but they may have already established an opinion. Is it positive or negative?

Keep Your Reception Area Spotless:

A clean reception area is of extreme importance. Once an impression is gained people seek to confirm rather than negate that impression. If a client sees the reception furnishings are stained, scratched or dusty they will be checking to see if your products are clean and saleable or if you are competent in the service you provide. However if the surroundings make him feel comfortable he will unconsciously be seeking other positive attractions to improve the original impression.

reception furnishings

Impressions that Signs Make:

Consider the atmosphere created by signage in the office. Are the majority of signs referring to billing or insurance procedures instead of helping the client feel more relaxed? Try using helpful signs near the reception desk like "Please see our receptionist when you arrive" but discourage any inappropriate or casual sayings from being posted in public view. Signs for relieving staff tensions should be kept out of prominent places.

Be First to Say Hello:

Don't wait for them to speak, take the initiative to greet customers first because some people will read hesitation as indifference. Use the person's name where ever possible and great them with a smile because when you smile they smile back and smiling shows sincerity, confidence and approachability. There is no substitute for a personal introduction.


Put Your Client at Ease:

Be alert for any factors that could hinder communication. For example someone may lose a client because he has a habit of speaking with his back turned or a patient may feel uncomfortable being greeted and examined by a doctor in a surgical mask. The doctor never thought to explain his reason for wearing a mask and the patient never asked; but she consequently decided to look for another physician. It has been said "The only boss is the customer. He can fire everybody in the company from the director down, simply by spending his money elsewhere."

Create a Favourable Impression in The First 60 Seconds:

The amount of time you spend with a customer makes a significant contribution to their satisfaction. However it is not always possible for you to dedicate the amount of time your customer wishes or expects you to give them. Give a client your undivided attention for the first 60 seconds of your meeting and he or she will have the feel that a meaningful communication has taken place rather than thinking the visit has been too short.


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