Jan 19, 2008

First impressions

Here is an interesting article on making first impressions:

Leadership: Directors of First Impressions

In Quebec, I have found that as a customer, I am generally well greeted. Not to the extent described in the article, but I don't feel like I am intruding into someone's life.

There is a bicycle shop close to my home where I buy most, if not all, of my biking gear. One of the reasons I buy from them is because the owner calls me by my name, even though I haven't been there very often. The first time it happened, I was slack-jawed. She saw me and said, "Hello Mr. Duperval." I think it was the second time I had gone to the shop. The previous time was almost a year before that.

Contrast that with the time I went to an electronics distribution company. Not one of those super stores, but one of those counters in the industrial section of town. I was greeted by the receptionist, and I explained to her what I was looking for. As she listened and called one of the salespeople, her voice and demeanor made me feel as though I was being a nuisance.

After letting the salesperson know I was at the front desk and needed help, she went back to her business. I stood and observed her behaviour. She was in the process of going through and filing her mail. Whenever the phone rang, she would sigh audibly, as if she was being bothered again.

This went on for about ten minutes. Never once did she check with the salesperson to see what the delay was. Never once did she apologize for the delay or try to contact me in any fashion. After 10 minutes of waiting, after such shabby treatment, I turned around and left without a word and went to spend my money elsewhere.

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