Every time you drive in your car and hit a pothole on a city street, I am betting you get really grumpy. You wonder why the city hasn’t done repairs to maintain the roads. Cuss word, cuss word. At the end of the day, all you remember about your community is that darn pothole. You have conveniently forgotten why your city is one to be proud of. Great schools, thriving businesses, landscaped parks, a new convention center…that damn pothole.
We’ve all heard that first impressions are important. Well, I’m here to tell you… it’s LAST impressions that matter. Ok, just hear me out. How many times have you met someone, only to forget their name 20 minutes later? Once you part ways, you think about the great conversation with …. with … with Mr. Cafe’ Latte’ in the blue blazer. Was the blue jacket the first thing your introduction consisted of? Probably not. After several minutes of talk, a coffee order ensued. Your acquaintance was likely holding that empty Styrofoam cup when you parted ways. That’s a last impression, AND a lasting one.
Now let’s apply that to our customer base. Always – ALWAYS – great your customer pleasantly. Do the assigned work, fill out your service ticket, and explain your processes to your client. Leave a last (and lasting) impression on them that doesn’t let them question hiring you. A clean uniform and vehicle are a great place to start. Equipment in working order is a must. Breakdowns happen, but you should be prepared to manage those “what ifs” with the proper tools and extra parts. Don’t ever ask the customer for tools or spare parts. That scene will make them grumpy, and you just became the hole in the road.
Managing a first impression is important, but last impressions are even more important. There is a training opportunity for you by asking the customer how they feel about your quality of work. It will help you grow. It gets the customer engaged in your process, and that means they will see value in what you do. Lasting impressions are about the client “buy in” of why, how, and what we do. Now – how do I get that pothole fixed?