A couple weeks ago a local roofing company began installing new shingles on my house.
I didn’t know exactly when they were going to start, so it was a bit of a surprise when I rolled up and they were already started.
No big deal. I just pulled into the garage and began to go into the house when I saw this:
Yep. That’s a nail. With a shingle still attached.
The problem is: it’s not all the way in. So I don’t want to drive because it may push it completely in and I’ll get a flat.
But it might also have gone in enough to puncture the tire, so it might be acting like a plug.
Now the point isn’t the nail.
But this nail instantly gave me an impression of this roofing company: sloppy and unprofessional.
I don’t actually know if that’s true. But that was my instant reaction to this situation. After all, who leaves shingles full of nails in the driveway?!
Since I didn’t want to take work time to change it, I dialed up the roadside assistance services of my insurance company.
Within 20 minutes, a two-person team was out fixing my tire and I was on my way to get the flat repaired.
The guys got me back on the road fast.
As they were leaving, the roadside assistance guy handed me his card. I instantly went online and left them a 5-star review.
Within an hour, I had formed an impression of two companies. One positive and one negative.
Here’s why this matters: your customers build perceptions when they experience your products or services.
They don’t care how good your logo looks. And they don’t hear how great your message is. It’s their direct experience with you that dictates their impression.
There are two ways to ensure these positive experiences last:
- Have an initial positive experience – this is the cheapest and most powerful. Make the first interaction great. This positivity will help carry through future interactions.
- Have many interactions – the only way to fix a bad first interaction is to have many, many good interactions. This is expensive and takes work, but it’s worth it.
Ideally, you want both: A great first impression and many additional positive experiences.
So what kind of experiences are your clients and customers having with you?
Are you the nail in the tire or the roadside fix team?
Because you’re building the brand right now.
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