A woman in a white suit jacket shacks hands with a man dressed in a dark grey suit. She smiles brightly and seems genuinely excited to be there. The battle of generating word of mouth is by making great first impressions all the time.
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How to Make a Great First Impression for Your Brand Every Time


We all know Word of Mouth marketing (WOMM) is important.

We know people are 92% more likely to listen to their friends more than advertisements. Duh! Of course people listen to those who’ve earned their trust, their respect. The question is how do you become one of them?

Put Your Brand Face On

Businesses are making hundreds of first impressions every day. So, they need to be on top of their game, every second of every day.


High standard, isn’t it? But we’re all human and can’t be perfect all the time. But your brand can.


“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” — Walter Landor

The images has five tall rectangular sections that are all flush with each other. They stand tall and each section is differentiated by color. The first is a dark pink, the second pale pine, the third is pale yellow, the fourth is pale blue and the last is a greyish blue. Within each section is a person and each are holding their chin. The first is a red haired woman looking up and to the left skeptically. The second is a dark haired white man with a close trimmed beard. He looks up and forward in near wonderment. The third is a black woman with a tightly curled black afro. She looks up and the right questioningly. The fourth is a black man with closely trimmed hair and beard. He is turned to the left and looking up and forward from that position with a questioningly humorous expression. The last is a possible Latina woman. She looks up and to the right with obvious concern.

Everyone lives in their own realities. They believe their own feelings and thoughts are fact. Yet, we all have different opinions, so there’s no way every person’s reality is always right. But that doesn’t change the fact that people believe they’re right. So, you must convince them that your brand — your reality — should be part of theirs. 


When you can do that, you’ll be at the top of your game every day.

Reviews

Potential customers aren’t fools. They know that companies often make their products or services sound like the best thing since sliced bread. They know companies are biased. (And let’s be honest. We are... because, well, paychecks are nice.)

Reviews show that real people agree with you. They reinforce the brand image you present in your advertisements, social posts, website, and every other touchpoint.


Now, you might be saying, “that’s all fine and good, but getting people to leave good reviews can be a hassle.” Last week, we were tagged in a conversation about referrals, but many of the points they bring up also apply to reviews. The author of the post and those that interacted in the conversation made some interesting points.

A LinkedIn post of the left expresses the idea that no one should feel entitled to getting a referral to customers and it's more about creating value, then referrals will come. Two comments to the post are to the right of the post. The first expresses the idea of making sure customers feel they've had a great service, then he'll ask for a referral in a more human way. The second comment expresses that providing value is necessary to getting referrals, but subtle reminders and incentives can go a long way too. Reviews work in a similar way.

With good reviews and asking for them in a human way, you will gain respect with your current customers and provide a welcoming online presence to potential customers.

Make Customer’s Proud of Their Association with You

Your online presence not only exists on your website; it exists on your social media accounts, each of your influencers accounts, and customer accounts. You need to make sure each of these places accurately reflects your brand.


But how do you do that?


You know how when you get together with some acquaintances and after saying hi and asking how they’ve been, you suddenly find you don’t know what to say and neither do they, so there’s this long awkward silence?

A young man and woman sit on a low backed white couch. They're stiff and not quite making eye contact. They're definitely feeling awkward. This, in many ways, could be the representation of companies and customers. They don't quite know how to interact besides traditional marketing and customer service interactions.

Imagine your online presence like that. If you treat your customers only as acquaintances that you only kinda know, you’re going to get long awkward silences that don’t give off a friendly vibe to potential customers. Instead, you need to make your current customers’ friends and foster relationships between your customer base.


It might be helpful to think of your customers as fans. With fans, we generally think of ecstatic girls screaming as their pop star crush walks out on stage. But think about how much those fans support that pop star. They buy their albums and go to as many concerts as they can. To learn more about how to treat customers like fans, check out Customer Experience Pop Star Style-Justin Bieber, Adele, Taylor Swift’s CX Strategies.


Ultimately, what you need to do is develop a relationship with your customers, by engaging with them and getting to know them. When customers — potential, current, or past — see a living, welcoming environment, they are more likely to participate. And as they come to know you, they’ll be much more likely to tell their friends about you.

Brand Perception

The way people perceive your brand will either earn you respect or distrust. 


Let’s take the Coronavirus, for example. People are so worried about it, shelves that used to contain toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water, and other necessities are now desolate, companies and schools are preparing to accomplish day to day tasks remotely, and people, after completing their sprint through the grocery store, are avoiding public places.

With the Coronavirus, people have flocked to the stores and taken what they might need to quarantine themselves. This mass purchasing has left many shelves empty. Often seeing these things gone creates more panic.

With these facts, let’s focus on companies like Walmart and Amazon and the perceptions they might need to worry about during this crisis.


Both companies now deliver their products directly to the customer. Everyone knows that the virus is spreading quickly and are hesitant to interact with others. So, they will be hesitant of any package they receive, knowing that it’s gone through multiple hands to get to them. Ironically, people should be more worried about going to the store than what’s delivered to their door.


According to Press-Telegram, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for Disease Control’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, explained, “In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”


Knowing this, Amazon can rest a little easier. But Walmart, who delivers within 24 hours, cannot. In order to keep providing home deliveries, Walmart needs to state what measures they are taking to prevent the spread of the disease and reassure the public that they’re still safe to use.


Both companies should provide Dr. Messonier’s statement to educate and put their minds to rest, at least a little. With social publishing and listening tools, this can be done more easily. These companies can push the messages they need to the conversations that are more likely to start a crisis. These companies could turn a potential crisis in their favor by explaining to customers that not only is shipping safer, it also reduces their chance of exposure.


If neither company shows that they’re doing all they can to contain the disease, there will be customers that will speak out against them, especially if someone who contracted the virus decided to blame them. It would not look good.


Remember, a good perception wins respect. So, put on your brand face and make every impression count.


Make a great first impression with our Social CX suite of solutions!

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