Your mother advised, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Correct or incorrect, your customers’ first encounters with you and your organization teach them what to expect as well as whether to return. That first look shapes their expectations and often is a go-no-go decision point for them. I have chosen a vendor based on whether or not they had a website, not just whether it was a good one. As customers, we look at stats like the number of positive reviews. We pay attention to curb appeal. All to say it is important to make a great first impression.

I called the Kimpton Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina to make a reservation. To my surprise, I got, “Thank you for calling the Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville. I am David McCartney, the hotel general manager.” Now, what does it tell you that the first person you meet is the head boss of the hotel? But wait, it gets better.

“I am here with our Employee of the Month.” Then, you hear, “Hello, I am Donald Adams in housekeeping.” The message continues from David, “Donald and I are here to serve you. Please listen to several options to help direct your call to the best person to assist you.” What message does the recording answer send you? How does this first impression influence you to consider the Kimpton in Asheville…or a Kimpton hotel property anywhere? Your mother was right. There are no second chances for first impressions.