You Only Get One Shot at a Great First Impression
DIY Sprocket Solutions
Say you run a biker bar and a customer walks in. Saying “Can I help you?” while cracking your knuckles threateningly might be appropriate in this situation, but most of us sincerely want to help all prospective customers, so we try to project a more welcoming environment. So how welcoming is your online presence right now?
First impressions are so important to continuing any business relationship. Just like keeping a clean, attractive storefront, your digital real estate also needs to be kept tidy and appealing. When was the last time you checked on the impressions left on any of these following digital "storefronts?"
Your Business Website
Is your content up-to-date? Are you using good, well-formatted graphic images? Do you need to update the “Team Profiles” or other business particulars? Are there any expired specials or coupons? Do you need to fix any broken links? These little details are in addition to any sweeping style changes you make from time to time, but can mean all the difference in encouraging a second visit.
Your Social Media Profiles
Once you launch a social media presence, you need to stay committed to regular updates or you’ll look like you went out of business. If you’re falling behind, hire someone to help you keep up. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it should be consistent. Go to your social media accounts and pretend you’re a customer. Are you providing the kind of content your audience wants to see?
Your Business Blog or News Page
What are you writing about and how often? While customers do want to connect with you on a personal level, remember this is your professional blog. It’s usually best to steer clear of polarizing subjects. Remember that people looking for what you have to offer are using search terms online to find you. Those are the words and phrases that should show up frequently in your posts.
Reviews and Comments
Whenever someone takes the time to contact you online, be sure to respond promptly. Remember that other potential customers are reading those reviews and comments. Thank people for nice reviews, but respond to even nasty little comments to demonstrate your professionalism and your commitment to service. When the exchange gets too nasty, politely take the conversation offline so you can deal with it out of the public eye.
The bottom line is this: You are in control of the impression you are giving and it’s important to get it right the first time. When you are super busy taking care of current customers, cleaning up your online presence may be last on the list. But to stay busy, you have to make the effort to keep up an appealing digital presence. If it makes sense to off-load some of these task, just give us a call and we can take care of it for you!
This is an update to “Can I Help You?” dated 1/30/2013.