A coffee shop owner serving coffee to happy customers


One of the first rules of good business is to leave a positive impression on customers. Impressing your customers helps increase customer retention — your company’s ability to turn one-time customers into repeat customers. Increasing customer retention by even 5% can increase overall revenue between 25% and 95%.

Impressed customers are also more likely to recommend your company to others, which can help introduce your brand to new people. According to Nielsen, 88% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than other forms of advertising. If you want to generate more business, start by leaving a positive impression on current customers.

  1. Offer Free Advice

Offering free advice is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to helping customers find the best solution for their problems. In many cases, your company can offer free advice without much effort. Start by helping customers clearly understand the challenges they face. Write a blog, host a workshop, or answer customer questions over the phone to offer value when customers don’t expect it.

When customers see companies offer free advice without expecting anything in return, they see a company with their best interest at heart. That realization quickly leaves a positive impression on customers — even customers who don’t end up buying from you. 

  1. Show Respect and Interest

Many companies are quick to treat customers as opportunities for revenue — without ever showing interest in them as people. This creates an opportunity for your company to leave more customers with a great first impression. Even if a customer is a great fit for your services, don’t rush the sale. Instead, take time to get to know them and their situation.

Respecting a customer means caring for them as an individual. If a customer is undecided, help them recognize all of their options. When you demonstrate that you want to help customers make the best purchase — even if it’s not from you — you leave customers impressed by your honesty.

  1. Offer a Small Gift

Personalized gifts are another effective way to leave a positive impression on your customers. Without breaking the bank, you can purchase and distribute small gifts that have a special meaning for customers. For example, print a customer’s name or logo on custom coolies, lanyards, or sunglasses as a personalized thank you after they purchase.

Beyond leaving a positive impression, promotional items can improve your brand’s visibility and versatility. They can also help generate interest and leads at trade shows and conferences. Promotional gifts elevate your brand, keeping your company at the top of customers’ minds until they need your services. 

  1. Figure Out What They Like To Talk About

Conversation is another great way to show respect to your customers. Talk about things they enjoy, even if their topics of interest aren’t directly related to your company. Maintaining an honest, fun conversation with customers is a great way to build connections and make the entire buying experience more enjoyable for them.

If the customer shares your interests, figuring out what they like to talk about is also a great way to recommend other resources that might help them. For example, hotel staff who share guests’ passion for travel can recommend local restaurants, excursions, or attractions to make their stay even more enjoyable.

  1. Always Try To Do a Little Extra

Going above and beyond for customers demonstrates how dedicated you are to their satisfaction. Whether that’s a surprise discount or a complimentary item with their purchase, a little extra effort can have a massive impact on customer satisfaction.

Exceeding customer expectations looks different in every industry. In retail, you might gift-wrap customers’ items after they purchase them. In finance, it might mean offering a free seminar for clients who want to learn how to invest. In healthcare, clinicians can offer personalized health advice and follow-up after appointments.

  1. Put Them at Ease

Many customers experience an understandable level of unease when making an important purchase. For example, a buyer might feel nervous before closing on a house or signing for a new car. One of the easiest ways to impress a customer is simply to put their mind at ease. If you can replace customer stress with peace of mind, you’ll quickly improve their impression of your brand.

Comforting a customer works best in industries that can cause anxiety, frustration, or unease. For example, a dentist’s office can offer soothing music that calms nervous patients. Restaurants can offer drawing materials for young children waiting for food. Gyms can offer orientation classes that teach new members how to safely use equipment.

  1. Respect Their Time

You can also leave a positive impression on customers by showing that you respect their time. This often means reducing the amount of time a customer spends waiting before serving. For example, customers who wait in long lines at an airport, hospital,  or restaurant will be less likely to have a favorable impression of that company.

There are several ways your company can improve efficiency in the customer experience. Add members to your call center, shortening wait times and addressing customer concerns without much wait. Create an efficient website where customers can make purchases or reservations without speaking to a representative. If customers need to wait, keep them updated on what their estimated wait will be.

  1. Take Notes About Their Preferences

Whether a customer visits your website, calls your company, or visits your storefront, take note of their preferences. Keep track of the products and services they enjoy, along with any questions they ask or challenges they face. Reference these details in the future to personalize their future shopping experiences to a greater degree.

Recording customer preferences helps companies unlock new levels of personalization. For example, hotels can keep detailed notes on guest preferences like snacks, room temperature, and check-out times. Restaurants can note customers’ favorite foods and dietary restrictions. Personalize future shopping experiences using these notes to leave positive impressions on customers.

  1. Remember the Small Details

Pay attention to every aspect of a customer’s interaction with your brand. Take note of their preferences — no matter how small. Remembering the small details allows you to demonstrate how much you care about your customers. This level of care can create repeat buyers, particularly among customers who don’t see the same attention to detail from your competition.

The small details can sometimes have the biggest impact on the customer experience. If you work in the hospitality industry, for example, remember when guests request an extra pillow. Include that extra pillow in their room the next time they book with you. In the same way, teachers who incorporate students’ passions into their lessons can create a more engaging learning environment.

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Aesthetics

The visual elements of your brand also play a strong role in the customer experience. Logo colors, website elements, physical signage in your store, and product packaging are all opportunities to impress customers.

Your company’s aesthetics include anything with a physical appearance that points back to your brand. Many companies will neglect these small details, like lighting and merchandise arrangements in stores. For online businesses, improving your aesthetic can mean using complementary colors and adding engaging videos. Customers who enjoy your company’s visual aesthetics have one more reason to purchase again.

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