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January 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

How to Make a Good First Impression for Your Customers

How to Make a Good First Impression for Your Customers

You’ve heard it before: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In business, this is doubly true – a bad first impression for a customer can cause you to lose their business forever. Fairly or unfairly, this means that your customer-facing employees need to be on their game all day, every day, no matter which step of the sales cycle they’re in. But how do you put these employees in a position to succeed?

It All Starts With Information

Information is the lifeblood of business, permeating every nook and cranny of the organization. And each interaction with a customer involves some form of information exchange – from sales to account management to customer service to advocacy. Thus, having immediate access to key information is absolutely vital for these customer-facing employees. Successfully engaging these customers requires an employee who is armed with the documents and information they need, as the speed and accuracy of this information has a direct bearing on how the customer perceives your organization.

But more than that, this information access needs to be a feature everywhere in your business – not just with those employees who interact with customers. The people you have in the back office are directly tied to the success (or failure) of your customer-facing people and processes. They are the support that your customer-facing employees need. And if they’re being kept siloed away from the rest of the business, you’re hurting your bottom line.

Get Out of Your Own Way

Getting information to your people

In the end, getting information to your people comes down to whether or not you have theprocesses in place to optimize your informationthrough a robust infrastructure. That requires a thorough understanding of your current processes and how they can be improved. Which means taking a hard look internally at what you’re doing right now – a critical eye is necessary for positive change to be successful. Are there places where your existing policies and procedures are causing hangups or bottlenecks? Do your employees have serious and ongoing pain points in attempting to do their jobs to the best of their ability?

Chances are that it may have been a long time since you looked at your internal processes. We found in a study that more than half of all businesses spent a day or less reviewing processes, and that more than a third of respondents felt that this wasn’t enough time.

Good Document Management is Good Business Management

Having the right processes in place to track and optimize the sharing of information throughout an organization is a mission-critical priority. Document management programs, CRM systems and appropriate use of new and existing technologies can all add to a customer experience and create the type of advocate every business is looking for – with a tangible effect to your revenue numbers. A recent survey found that more than two-thirds of businesses believe that by improving these customer interactions, they could improve revenue growth by more than 10 percent.