Customer Experience Innovation Blog with Toni Newman

David and What’s-Her-Name

First Impression

It’s not complicated.   First impressions count.  David gets that. What’s her name doesn’t.

It was our first weekend in our new cottage and after a glorious morning of sitting looking over the crystal clear shimmering lake, watching the ducks paddle towards us and listening to the birds sing, we decided to check out the local restaurant pub.

From the minute we arrived, our waiter David made us feel welcome, valued and perhaps most importantly, part of the family. He was personable, helpful and a great ambassador for the pub as he told us about upcoming events and encouraged us to come back soon.  We were impressed.  Now, to be fair, David’s job may have been made a little easier by the fact that we were basking in the sun on a magnificent terrace on a perfect spring day and that the food was pretty darn good too. But whatever the reasons, we liked David, we felt connected to him and to the restaurant, and when we left, we had already decided to go back before the weekend was out.

And that’s exactly what we did two days later.  Only David wasn’t our waiter.  What’s-her-name was.   Same magnificent terrace, same perfect spring day and same great food. The only variable was What’s-her-name, whose name was never offered and whose name, quite frankly, we never bothered to ask because she was so obviously disconnected to us and to our customer experience that it was simply not worth the effort.

Will we go back to the pub?  Probably.  Are we in a hurry to go back?  Not as much.  But here’s the kicker.  If our first first impression had been with What’s-her-name, we might never have gone back at all.

Bottom line:  Each and every one of your employees is a Customer Touchpoint and each and every time on of them interacts with a customer, they have the power to create or destroy a first impression which means that each and every one of them has the power to influence whether or not your customers decide to walk back through your door.

Today, have a look around at your front line employees and ask yourself, if you were a customer discovering your business for the very first time, what kind of first impression would each of those employees create?  Are they a David or are they a What’s-her-name?  Give the Davids a healthy bonus and tell the What’s-her-names to find another job.  Now.

Leave a Reply