The above photo is one of the two water features in storefront windows that we, Aquatic Creations, constructed and designed for our client Mane Attraction Salon & Wellness Spa, Winchester VA. It makes it nice to be able to decorate the water feature in your storefront or lobby with the change of the seasons… sure makes a very welcoming first impression!
It takes only three to five seconds to make a first impression, according to Forbes Magazine. For a business, it is critical that the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts with a poor impression of a business, they are not likely to buy anything or want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with others, which results in even fewer sales. The following tips will help create an important good first impression.
1 – Clean up outside. The very first impression is made when pulling into the parking lot of a business. If there are weeds, cracked pavement, and a dirty building, some people may turn around and leave. Those who do venture in will already be wondering about the professionalism of the company. The first impression begins with the outward appearance of a building and parking space, so be sure it is clean, in good repair, and clearly shows the company name and logo.
2 – Have a memorable lobby. “While design and layout of the entire office is important, designers say the look of the lobby area is paramount”, according to The Economic Times. This is the first area a potential client sees and a good impression is important. Design the layout with the reception desk at least partially facing the main doors and the waiting area opposite the desk. Create waiting zones around the room if space permits. Decorate the room with company logo colors and calming artwork. The Economic Times also says, “An elegant water feature can create a soothing atmosphere”. The client should feel relaxed and welcome. The sound of running water can help promote this feeling with a wall water fountain that takes up little space.
3 – Good customer service. Every employee should smile and be welcoming and friendly. The receptionist should be informed of special guests who may be arriving so they can be greeted by name. Some retail stores have a greeter at the door to welcome customers in and answer any questions they may have. This shows customers they are important and helps them feel welcome. All questions or concerns a customer may have should be address immediately and professionally. And remember, small things make all the difference. Offer cold water or hot coffee to clients, notify customers of waiting times when they arrive, and try to stay on time for meetings and events.