Mar 15, 2016
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How First Impressions Hurt (or Help) Your Business Reviews


Have you ever had a negative review?

A negative review from a satisfied customer, one who told you they were satisfied? It?s a frustrating experience. Sometimes their review isn?t negative, it?s just meh.

There?s a hidden trigger to negative reviews.

This trigger, if mismanaged, dramatically increases your odds of receiving a negative review. Do everything right, treat your customers well and you may still receive a negative review.

The trigger I?m referring to is first impressions.

First impressions hurt (or help) your business

Make a good first impression and you?re able to attract a significant amount of goodwill from customers, even when you make a mistake. Make a poor first impression and every good thing you do is discounted and denied.

Incredibly unfair isn?t it?

But why does this happen? Why are first impressions so important to us? First impressions are important because we use them to categorize and classify those around us.

We do this in several ways.

? Matching values. Research shows shared values (not engagement) builds customer relationships and loyalty.Customers use first impressions to get a sense of your values and how you do business.

? The dominance hierarchy. Customers in particular, people in general, are all sensitive to our place in the pecking order. We subconsciously understand a simple truth. The people, brands and organizations we associate with reflect on us. We use a diverse set of signals to establish status. It can be as complex as social class and as simple and innocent as laughter or the sound of your voice.

? Image and presentation. Every customer comes to you with expectations. They expect a business in your specific category to look, sound, behave and present in a very specific way. Deviate from those expectations, fail to present your business properly and you increase the odds of making a poor first impression.

? Your social competence. Every customer makes an appraisal of your social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral skills. Do you have socially competent employees who treat customers with respect and compassion? Do you show you have good conversation skills or do you dominate the discussion and focus on yourself?

Customers categorize your business based on the data collected by their conscious and subconscious mind. This data forms the basis for their first impressions.

Here?s why first impressions matter.

Read the rest of Andrew's post here, and his dive into the 4 ways first impressions affect your business and what they mean for your business reviews.

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