Why do first impressions matter so much?

Everyone knows about love at first sight. But sadly some businesses are blissfully unaware of the concept of an instant ‘NO way’.

Within seconds of meeting someone for the first time, or even hearing their voice on the phone, we evaluate that person. It goes way back to our most basic instinct – friend or foe?

This has been the subject of much study over the years. The view is that humans can carry out that important first evaluation in just one tenth of a second. If we meet someone in person, we instantly (and largely subconsciously) evaluate such things as age, gender, race, physical appearance and clothing.

Posture and voice are also part of the instinctive critique our brains perform. Even location can be part of the assessment – taking a viewpoint from such things as if someone is in the centre of a group, on the edge or standing alone.

To show you just how incredibly powerful first impressions are – our conscious minds gather around 40 pieces of information each second. Impressed? Well, you will be when you also note that our unconscious minds can soak up 11 million pieces of information at any one time.

Telephone Answering Services – first impression?

Even in the age of technological advancement, more sophisticated decision making and digital communication, first impressions clearly still dictate business relationships.

Research has shown that the two things people look for when making an initial business relationship assessment is competence and warmth.

Can they provide what I need, but in a manner that makes me comfortable?

So, having a slick and off-pat greeting on your telephone answering service and putting someone through efficiently, is not the only important thing. There’s been a backlash to automation and overuse of technology in communications. People want to deal with humans. They want authenticity and warmth.

A greeting and a brief in-action with someone who is responsive and genuinely interested is gold dust. There are certain organisations – such as those supplying health or social care, or services for the bereaved for example – when something even more in depth is required.

Within that split second their call is answered, people need evidence of empathetic and compassionate service. If the first impression is a bad one in highly sensitive situations, it’s not just customers you lose, it’s reputation too.

Ring us at Frontline and test your first impressions of us today.