Picture this; a droning, robotic voice going through the motions; “Thank you for your patience, a member of our team will be with you shortly” Yeah, you’ve heard that one before. Tinny classical music repeating the same thirty seconds over, and over, and over again. And then, finally- you make human contact.

“Hi, how can I help you?… Let me just transfer you to the correct department… Please hold.”

So the cycle begins again and you contemplate hanging up the call now rather than wait any longer. Surely, you can do it yourself.

We have all been there.

Whether it be on hold with your local GP, in a queue waiting on tech support, or trying without success to get through to a government agency. Being added to the end of an indefinite queue can be disheartening, time consuming, and altogether frustrating for a customer- which can spell disaster for your business.

First impressions can be tough. In just seven seconds, your customer has made a snap judgement on whether to trust you and your brand. So how do you make the most where it counts?

In a world of remote working, zoom calls, and tracksuit pants as business attire, what one would consider as a ‘traditional’ way of working is a thing of the past. To adapt, business must prioritise customer experience in a contactless world.

Widely cited research by Dr Albert Mehrabian from UCLA theorises that first impressions are 55% impacted by body language, 38% by tone of voice, and 7% from words used. Remove the physical aspect from the equation and you place a lot of importance on tone of voice and choice of wording. Professionalism and allowing your business to stand out in the crowd is imperative- and don’t forget to keep up with trends or risk being left in the dust as business evolves.

So, what can you as a business do to improve your first impressions?

Give your customers the freedom to choose. Whether it be letting them leave their phone number for a call back later, or providing your customers with different musical options while on hold. Perhaps setting up an Auto-Attendant to automate and streamline your service? Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Make your customer feel important at every touchpoint and don’t just meet customer expectations- exceed them. Word of mouth referrals are priceless, and brand reputation is vital to continued, successful business.