First Impressions

7 Seconds & Counting


Everybody knows how important first impressions are. But not everybody knows that the “first impression” is actually only a seven second window upon first meeting someone. This means when you have someone’s attention you need to impress politely quickly in order to make a brilliant first impression. Beyond social interactions, studies show that the average resume is reviewed for only seven seconds before a hiring manager decides to have the resume vetted further or placed in the trash. For social and psychological reasons, most people make a judgment within seven seconds of a new interactions.

Our companies are in the business of constant first impressions. Whether it is creating an inviting atmosphere in our storefronts or an immersive experience with our websites, our goal is to ensure that our customer’s first seven seconds are positive no matter how they are interacting with our companies. Business owners also know that there are multiple first impressions we have on our customers, as counter-intuitive as that may seem.

Your customers will judge an aspect of your business every time they have a new interaction. A new interaction could be calling the business, visiting the business in person, or even trying to make a return. With every new interaction with your business there is a new opportunity for a first impression. Those seven seconds count every time. For example, if you’ve ever read a four-star review on a review website like Yelp, it typically reads like this:


“The staff were excellent, the products worked well, and I felt like I got a fair value. I would give this a five-star rating, but the service was slow.”

Here the customer has had a great time, but their impression of the speed of service was unfavorable. The customer’s experience is the sum of all their impressions and in this instance the sum of their experience was still largely favorable, but not excellent due to a failed first impression.

Human beings are particularly skilled at identifying differences. That skill works at an instinctual level and our brains can see a break in a pattern with relative ease. Ergo, when you customer is having a five-star experience at your business, it can make any faults or detriments all the more visible. Every new interaction is a new impression, and with each successful seven second impression it increases the likelihood of a less than optimal impression is occurring in your customer’s mind. People become accustomed to excellence and they will judge interactions moving forward accordingly. This is why businesses will automate or regiment parts of their business as it reduces the number of impressions they need to manage.

On-hold messaging can be a great way to automate an impression. If your customer has never been on hold, you want to make sure that the experience is to the same standard of their expectations of your business. With an automated messaging system, you’re able to manage their impression automatically while you attend to their other needs.

Ultimately, as business owners we want to worry less and have our businesses run as expected. Automation is a fantastic tool to reduce the stress of worrying over each first impression as you don’t need to worry about human error. And by having humans, like the ones at Hold On Now, manage the behind the scenes system you can feel confident that everything will run as expected. Our goal, as an on hold messaging firm, is to take one more stressor out of your day with a solution that works in concert with your brand and helps ensure that your customer’s five star experience continues, even when on hold.


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