Originally published on Forbes.com.
First impressions matter — particularly when it comes to prospective clients. From the moment they arrive at your facility, they remain alert to every touch point. Understandably, they want a positive welcome, yet they rarely expect to walk away absolutely raving about the experience.
But why shouldn’t they?
If you’re eager to drive long-term client loyalty, you can start by leveraging technology to make initial encounters unforgettable. Setting the bar high at the beginning of your relationship sends the message that you’re worthy of a prospect’s personal time and business investment.
Best of all, your team doesn’t need to stretch resources to delight potential clients. Existing client management systems offer all the bells and whistles you need to stand out among the competition without eating up time or resources.
Building Better Guest Experiences
Some companies have always been known for their visitor experiences. Yet administration has traditionally been in charge of wowing visiting clients. Case in point: A receptionist might offer visitors beverages or engage in conversation after a formal check-in. While personal touches like these will always be critical to engaging visitors, technology can provide even more powerful and consistent ways to connect with guests. This is something we help many of our clients strategize and implement.
For instance, lobby displays often include ticker-style screens containing messages that vary from the weather forecast to featured headlines. These same displays can be programmed to showcase customized text and visuals pertaining to the guest. Imagine the impact you could have on someone by displaying their name, title and corporate logo on a screen after they check in with reception.
This isn’t an expensive fantasy, either. It’s a cost-effective solution that can transform the way clients feel about visiting your headquarters. But basic personalized signage only scratches the surface of the high-tech possibilities for positive client impressions. Here’s how you can use an internal client management system (CMS) to fully engage prospects before they ever see a human being.
1. Create fully responsive, self-contained registration.
Forget about asking guests to sign in with pen and paper. Products like Envoy and SwipedOn foster iPad-based registration. Visitors simply input their information, which is then sent to the right people via Slack, email or text message. Visitors can even grab an instantly printed badge. It’s a fast, effective method to securely log people into your system and alert the right parties of their presence.
In addition to making check-ins friendly and quick, registration software can be linked to other digital displays. So after someone signs in, your guest is instantly greeted by a video message that thanks them for coming and lets them know someone will be with them shortly. Truly, the options for vibrant, real-time messaging are limited only by your organization’s creativity.
2. Hyper-personalize the lobby.
We arm our sales team members and front-office administrator with a web-based CMS that allows them to update lobby-facing digital signage. Watching guests’ faces light up when they read customized messages never gets old. Not only does this practice allow us to create a brand personality, but it also starts the visit on an optimistic note without bogging everyone down in administrative duties.
You could push the envelope further by integrating customized mood lighting and music into your lobby. If your client loves jazz and swing, switch your tunes to Dizzy Gillespie and Maynard Ferguson. Know your prospect is a ski fanatic? Display a tourism video for a resort in the Rocky Mountains or images of powdery slopes. Your customers may assume the connection between what they saw and their personal preferences was a coincidence, and that’s because you were thoughtful enough to set that stage.
3. Deliver museum-quality experiences.
Think of clients coming to your office as museum patrons. They want to be educated. The few minutes they spend in your waiting room should help them discover something about your brand or its history. A succinct three-minute welcome video can set the tone for exploration and conversation. Just make your content short and sweet: You want to whet clients’ appetites, not overwhelm them.
For example, we helped one of our clients integrate video into the architecture of its headquarters to educate guests about its company culture. LED tiles help share the company’s story and heritage, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a multimedia experience featuring stellar content. Another client of ours followed a similar path using a mixed reality experience in its preview center to help guests visualize a community and stadium that hadn’t been built yet. As a result, the center sold all its suites well before anticipated.
Clients deserve to be treated to an elevated experience. After all, they’re integral to keeping your brand afloat. Give your sales team and other colleagues the ability to make lasting impressions with help from technology-guided sales aids.