Customer first impressions count, especially when it comes to your business. According to the Harvard Study of Communications, it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. With that in mind, you want to make sure the first impression that your business makes is the very best it can be, because it could mean the difference between landing that new client or having them walk out the door.
So, what are some things you can do to make sure your business has the right look to help convert your prospects into clients?
Your business is receiving customer first impressions from new clients before they even step into the building, so make the exterior of your business count. Your business should be easily identifiable with clear and prominent branding across the front of your office.
It helps if the exterior walls of your office are painted with branding colours also – especially if it’s an eye-popping red or a trustworthy blue. This is especially true if your office has frontage on a main street, because the more visible you are, the more likely people will take a look and pay attention when they drive past.
Whether your office is in an older building or a newer establishment, the upkeep on your exterior should be spot on. If your signage is faded due to age or sun damage, paint is peeling on the external walls and gutters, or the lawn and gardens in front of your establishment are overgrown, this leaves a very poor impression for your business.
Entrance Way / Reception Area
Every office is structured and laid out differently, but no matter what industry you’re in, you’re bound to have some form of entrance way or reception area for guests to enter through. If your clients enter your office via a stairwell, consider making an impact right away by placing branded messages or artwork along the walls.
Having an established reception area automatically gives your office more authority and makes you look more professional and helps establish a strong customer first impression. Once they enter the reception area, a neat and tidy reception desk should be the first thing they see.
You want your clients to feel as comfortable as possible in your space, which is why there should also be an area for them to sit while waiting to meet with you. Having something for your clients to flick through while waiting such as newspapers or magazines is a big plus.
You should also consider including company accomplishments, your company motto or imagery relevant to your business in the space for them to look at to create an atmosphere of success, which will further establish and validate your brand in the eyes of the client.
When holding meetings in your meeting room or boardroom, make sure you factor in the amount of people you’re likely to be seeing and ensure there’s enough seating to accommodate everyone.
As clients will be spending most of their time in this space, it should be immaculately clean and tidy. If you’re using any technology such as projectors or conference call systems, check that they are set up and functioning correctly so you’re not fumbling with them through the meeting.
When coming up with the design and colour scheme of your office space, you want the aesthetics to match and flow well both inside and out. Whatever style you go with, try your best to create an environment that’s welcoming, warm and pleasant.
Consider what makes you feel at home and try to incorporate those elements into your office. It could be something as simple as including a couch, rug and cushions in your reception area or placing some plants around the office. Research has shown that meeting people in warm surroundings can make them seem more friendly and trustworthy, so it really is worthwhile taking aesthetics into account.
Also consider the colours used in your office. Too many businesses stick with safe, neutral colours, but when colour is totally absent from your space, what makes your business different from any other? That’s why we encourage adding colour to your office to give your brand personality.
Remember to stay true to your industry and brand when picking your colour scheme. If you’re a law firm, for example, your customer first impressions probably won’t take you seriously if you have bright pink or neon yellow colours on your walls – so keep your colour choices tasteful and professional.
Personality & Demeanour
Along with your surroundings, clients will be paying close attention to the people they see and meet in your offices to help determine whether they trust working with your business.
How are your customers being greeted when they enter your business? As one of the first instances of the customer first impression, your reception staff should have a professional and friendly demeanour when greeting new clients to make them feel welcome. A disinterested or distracted receptionist won’t leave a good first impression.
According to The Balance, a good practice is for reception staff to greet the client by name as they arrive, because it makes the client feel important and valued knowing that the people at your company are consciously aware of their arrival.
Improve your Customer First Impressions with A New Fitout
Give your business the best chance possible to bring new clients and strong customer first impressions through your doors with a brand-new office makeover. At Future Fitouts, we specialise in giving your business the wow factor it needs to blow your clients away.
You can get in touch with our office fitout professionals by calling on 1300 368 461 or you can get in touch online! We cover all aspects of office fit out project management to make the process as straightforward as possible!