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Forget the First Impression, What’s Your Last-ing Impression?

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 1/24/17 5:30 AM
Topics: customer service, retail technology, Higher Ed

We’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” We think about it often; on the job interview or meeting a new business partner. But how do we make a lasting impression and what can get in the way? Forget the First Impression, What’s Your Last-ing Impression?Managers, sales leaders and business coaches talk about the final portion of the interaction as the opportunity to make the “lasting impression.” It’s accomplished by holding open the door, walking a customer to their car or even following up with a call or card to ensure satisfaction. But how often is the point-of-sale system considered a part of the lasting impression?

True story

I recently went a new coffee shop. The room was lively, smelled great and I was greeted by a friendly barista. I ordered a small regular brew with a bit of room for cream. $2 and a few cents. I presented my debit card and the barista keyed in the number … all 16 digits. Then she asked for my zip code (they want to know where their customers live,) then an email address so my receipt could be emailed (they wanted to save paper,) and finally a phone number (I gave a fake. Tommy Tutone anyone?)

Completing a purchase should not be this difficult. I once heard a professional speaker say, “Be good, be brief, be gone.” This is what I was looking for; take my money and let me go. My first impression was wiped clean by my final moments in the café. My lasting impression was that of an arduous task.

Your customers want to move about their day quickly and smoothly.

Who customers talk to

More than 80% of customers do not share their experiences with the company they have done business with, good or bad. If you exceed expectations, how will you know? On the flip side, if your customer didn’t have a great experience, how can you fix it? 96% of customers who have a poor experience don’t tell the merchant, they tell their friends. A dissatisfied customer tells twice as many people about their experience as a satisfied customer. Your customers’ lasting impression will be the interaction between your employee and your POS. Don’t let your POS kill the warm greeting, customer service and solution you worked for.

Your customers want a few things your POS can help with: speedy transactions and flexible payment options. A transaction of fewer than five seconds is ideal, and a cloud-based system allows you to accept payments from your website, customers’ mobile device or your loyalty program. While cash and checks are still prevalent, the days of carrying the thick wallet are numbered and clerks fumbling with receipt paper are on the outs.

What can you do?

Enhancing your customer’s experience through your POS is attainable. A modern point-of-service can cut transaction times to three seconds, offer the flexible payment options your customers want, keep their data secure and eliminate the need for multiple copies of receipts. Take a look at your customers’ interactions today, but do it in reverse. Knowing they will remember the end of the interaction better than the beginning, what would you want them to remember most? What do you think they will remember most?

Yes, the overall sales process is important. Let your sales team focus on the human element of the customer experience; greeting, answering questions, solving problems and remembering names, and keep your POS in check, running a smooth experience at the end of the customer interaction.

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About Jason Smallheer

Jason Smallheer worked for MBS from 2016 to 2017. His diverse career includes freelance work, broadcast radio and ski resort marketing. He has a passion for sharing ideas, helping businesses grow and professional development. When not expressing himself through writing, he enjoys time with his family and being outside doing anything that can result in scuffed knees and dirty clothes.

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