Research shows that you have about seven seconds to form a good first impression, whether you’re meeting someone in person or onboarding them as a new customer for your product.
The reason first impressions matter is that customers remember them. In fact, customers are far more likely to form an opinion of your product or service based on their first impression, rather than any actions you take at a later date, making it essential that you get things right the first time.
Win over a customer with a great first impression and you could earn their business for a year, two years or a lifetime. Disappoint a customer by under-delivering and you face a higher chance of eventually losing their business.
Just like a few small factors can determine whether or not you acquire a customer, developing a great first impression is often all about the small things. Below, we’ve listed five techniques that you can use to win over customers and make a great first impression, right from the beginning.
Introduce yourself and make it as easy as possible to get support
How easy is it for customers to contact you? 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company because of poor service, making it essential that you’re easy for customers to reach and talk to.
When a new prospective customer joins your free trial or a customer purchases your software, how easy is it for them to find your contact or support information?
Simply presenting it to your new customers and letting them know that you’re available is often all it takes to win them over. Customers are so accustomed to minimal support that just being there – and being available – is all you need to do to stand out.
Offer a great service and you’ll keep them as customers for a long time. As simple as it might seem, an action as minor as including your phone number in an onboarding email is often all it takes to show customers that you are there, you care and you are available.
At Retently we are using Intercom for in-app support. Intercom is an entirely new way to engage, learn from, and support your customers. Connect with your users through in-app messages that look and feel native to your web or mobile app, and make sure you are always available.
Be there before they need your help
Customers will interact differently with your product. Some of them will feel savvy, while others might meet some difficulties and you should always be there to help them out. At Retently, we use such services as Hotjar and Mouseflow to constantly monitor customers using our Net Promoter Score product.
As soon as a customer seems puzzled, our Customer Success team takes immediate actions and engages them to help overpass any obstacle.
Monitoring your customers’ behavior by reading heat-maps or watching recorded sessions is a great source of indirect feedback, which will give you invaluable insights on how to improve your product in order to make it more appealing and valuable for your clients.
Send personalized, human onboarding emails
Many SaaS businesses drop the ball as soon as they acquire a new customer (or trial user) by sending out a generic, non-personalized onboarding email.
The more personal are your communications with customers, the more important they’ll feel. Sending out automated, non-personalized emails – especially from an info or similar email address – delivers a very specific message to customers.
When a customer opens his inbox and finds a generic message from an info or noreply address, he may assume he’s not worth your while. On the other hand, a personalized email from a real person delivers two important messages:
- You’re interested in communicating directly with your customer
- The customer can contact you easily via email in case any difficulties or questions arise
Whenever possible, avoid sending messages from a generic email address, especially without any personalization. Not only will you make customers your feel more welcome — you’ll also achieve a higher open and click-through rate.
Tell customers exactly what to expect next
It’s a crucial principle for your customer acquisition and onboarding process. By telling your clients exactly what will happen next, you remove a huge amount of confusion that all too often causes users to give up on new applications.
There are two ways to do it. The first is to tell users what to do. By adding a soft call to action directing customers in each of your onboarding messages, you create a clear path to follow.
The second is to tell users what will happen next. This means adding a P.S. note to each of your emails alerting people about what they’ll receive tomorrow, next week or next month. Because all of your customers know what’s coming, there’s far less confusion or frustration.
Understand your audience’s needs and priorities
The more you understand your audience, the easier you’ll find it to deliver a great experience for them.
Ritz Plumbing, which was profiled in a Forbes article on customer service, realized that its target had a higher-than-average level of interest in Bitcoin. As a result, it added Bitcoin to its range of payment options, earning publicity and increasing customer satisfaction at the same time.
Have you ever discovered a great product or service, only to back away because it didn’t offer a feature you needed? From payment options to integrations, people often reject products based on missing features.
On the other hand, when people find your product and discover that you offer something that’s massively valuable to them, their first impression is fantastic. They’re immediately interested in your product or service and are motivated to try it (or, if no trial is available, to buy it).
The better you understand your audience, the easier you’ll find it to offer the features they need and prioritize. What are the key features or integrations that would let you make an amazing first impression on every customer?
Deliver on your promises right away
It’s easy to win over customers with big promises, but you’ll struggle to retain them if you can’t deliver.
If you market your product or service based on specific features, make sure they’re available as soon as customers buy your product. Better yet, build your onboarding process and tour around the features that play the biggest role in your product’s marketing.
This way, customers will feel familiar with your application’s major selling points as soon as they start using it. They’ll also receive the value they sought right away, instead of having to look for it on their own.
The easier you can make the process of using your application and accessing its full value, the better your first impression will be. Deliver on your promises right from the start through a great user experience and you’ll win over customers quickly and retain them for the long term.
Learn what your customers think of you
The better you understand your customers, the easier you’ll find it to retain them. Retently lets you gather, analyze and act on feedback from your customers using a simple, highly effective one question survey.