Mark Waltz, author of “First Impressions,” suggests the following word-association exercise:
Look at the following list, and jot down your first thought about each place. Don’t spend a lot of time on this – just write the first thought that comes to mind.
- Your last hotel stay (not the name of the hotel, but your impression of it)
- Your last airline experience (again, not the name of the company)
- Your bank
- Your local church
Now take a moment to evaluate the impressions you jotted down. Which reflect your feelings from initial encounter, and which ones describe your thoughts at the end of your experience with that organization? What does this tell you about the impressions we retain?
Organizations that understand the lasting nature of first impressions also understand that people matter. When people matter, Guests are wowed. And when Guests are wowed, they know they matter.