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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Start with One Little Big Thing: First Impressions

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[dropcap cap=F]irst impressions are so important that Tom Peters (author of The Little Big Things) recommends creating a new C-Level job for it. So in addition to your CEO and your CFO, you would have a CFIO (Chief First Impressions Officer). Of course, in smaller businesses a person can hold more than one C-Level job.[/dropcap]

What could you do to create a better first impression?

In the past, you’ve probably mainly thought of what happens when people enter your store. But, as CFIO, you should think of every step that could contribute to a customer’s first impression.

For instance, the customer’s initial contact could be by phone. Ask yourself: Do you answer in a friendly manner? Is your voicemail message useful and interesting?

And how about getting to your store: Are directions clear and easy to follow? Are there signs that show where to enter and exit?

Then they arrive in your parking lot: Is your parking area landscaped beautifully? Could you have music playing in your parking lot? On rainy days, could staff members meet customers and walk them in?

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Go through the process. These are all experiences customers would have before they walk through your door. And they would contribute to his or her first impression.

Certainly it’s too late to promote a CFIO this holiday season. But it could be a fun project to get started the week after Christmas.

Wishing you the very best in business!

[email protected]

[span class=note]This story is from the December 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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