Last week, I was invited to play pickleball in a private gated neighborhood community. As I drove up to the guard gate, the window to the kiosk was closed shut. Since there was a barrier gate in front of my car, I couldn’t move forward, so I sat there. A couple minutes later, the window opened and a gentleman peered out. I gave my name and the person that had invited me. He kept a poker-face expression and said not a word.
I waited and waited. Cars were starting to back up behind me. I repeated my name and spelled it; just in case he was having a problem finding me in his approved list. No expression, no acknowledgement. Finally, he looked up and waved me through while opening the barrier gate. There was absolutely no personal interaction this entire time.
I drove through thinking how lucky the neighborhood was that I was not a potential home buyer because the negative impression that this security guard gave me was terrible. He is their first point of contact with this beautiful respected community.
Organizations are having a hard time these days finding frontline workers and so many are filling positions with any warm body they can find. The consequences though can be devastating to your business. The first person your customers meet in your business should be representative of your brand. This is the most important touch point as it forms an impression that may make the customer decide whether to do business with you or not.
Interview well to determine the personality of those employees you are hiring to be the face of your organization. And train in the manner you wish them to perform, don’t assume that what you perceive to be a simple job, will be inherently known how to do by the individual.
First impressions are lasting. And it may be your only chance to attract a new customer.
Teri Yanovitch is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, customer service trainer, and customer experience consultant. For information on customized customer service training programs, contact 407-788-7765 or www.retainloyalcustomers.com