The Importance of a First Impression

I often ask people that I train how long does it take to create a first impression. I often get numerous answers from 20 seconds to 30 seconds to a minute. The reality is it takes 10 seconds to make a first impression. It takes 10 seconds for somebody to decide whether they like you or they don’t. That’s it! A first impression is critical in the hospitality industry because your guest decides immediately whether they feel that you are for them or against them.

First impressions are black or white, they’re not gray. Never has somebody looked at you and said, “I’m not sure how I feel about you. Let’s start this all over again.”

First impressions are critical because often times in hospitality, whether it’s restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, nightlife bars or airports, all you have is a first impression with your guest. Quite often our only interactions with our Guest is for less than 30 seconds so first impressions are critical in guest satisfaction.

What kind of a first impression are you showing your guests? Are you smiling, making eye contact, verbally greeting them, making them feel warm and welcome? That is what a great first impression is all about. There’s no such thing as a second chance to make a great first impression.

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