What do you remember most about your first love?…
…How you met or how you broke up?
My bet would be on the break up. The way you cried (or laughed). What you said. And the way the relationship dissolved. How you met probably never forms the larger part of your memory or conversation.
Last impressions count but if you are a marketer chances are you don’t think much about it. After all we’ve heard enough times that we never get a second chance to make a first impression.
So what do we do?
We focus on the packaging, on the way our marketing collateral looks; we put all our efforts into the entrance but hardly any resources to the exit. Our logic and training says that it’s the first blush that will capture the attention of the masses but after that what’s next?
I think plenty.
Recently my firm did some work for CARDI. Our first date was perfect. There was great chemistry. They had a need and we could deliver. We handled the media relations at two of their conferences and we worked really hard to deliver on things that were never part of our original agreement. I think that’s important, to give more than necessary to anticipate needs and over deliver.
But then came the after service call and an expressed dissatisfaction with our photographer.
This could have been our last interaction. And no matter how good our beginning what the principals would have remembered was that the hiccough with the photography.
Of course we worked to correct the impression. And while it was the client who forgot an aspect of our agreement which led to their over heightened expectation, we worked hard to make our last impression with them count. We apologised, sent a card , offered a discount.
The last interaction, in my experience, is responsible for virtually all of the word of mouth you’re going to get, positive or negative.
A thank you card for the referral. The chocolates left at the counter, the call that says how much you appreciate the business week after the job is completed. It all matters.