The other day while getting a haircut, I overheard another customer, Mary, tell her stylist, Ann, that she was looking for a dermatologist. Ann said her doctor was great and provided Mary with the telephone number. I could see Ann immediately use her cell phone to contact the doctor’s office and talk with them for 4 or 5 minutes. When Mary got off the phone, she proceeded to profusely thank Ann for the referral and said, “The office staff was so nice and when the office staff is nice, I know the doctor is too.”
I’m not sure if Mary’s theory is always 100 percent true, but I do know that frontline associates are the face and voice of a company. Too many medical offices, retail stores and accounting offices fail to realize that when someone new is placing a call to your establishment, the entire impression of your business is being created during that initial interaction.
If you manage or own a business, try calling into your company to inquire about becoming a new patient or client and see how welcoming your staff is to a potential customer. Businesses lose millions of dollars every day by not turning wanderers, those people who just by chance happen to call, stop-in or see your website for the first time, into lifetime customers. Remember, in every situation, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Do your frontline associates make every person feel welcomed, important and appreciated? Try calling your own business yourself to find out. Then, call your closest competitor and see how they handle customers. Which would YOU choose to do business with?