It’s said that “first impressions” count the most ― but I’m not so sure that rule always applies in business. In my view, the last experience someone has with your product or service carries more weight. Here’s an example of what I mean…
I flew into Sydney late last night to be in town for an interview on Sky Business bright and early this morning. Breaking all the frequent flyers rules – I decided to stay somewhere different to be close to the Foxtel studios so I wouldn’t have to get up quite so early. This led me to stay at the Stamford Grand in North Ryde.
On arrival, it seemed like a perfectly pleasant hotel from the outside, but things went down hill from there. A frosty welcome at reception, a massive walk to my room with no offer to help with bags – swipe card not working – long walk back to reception – second swipe card not working ― somewhat agitated long walk back to reception again (with bags) to get another room key. Now I’m a customer in a bad mood, I can see fault everywhere – ugly décor, poor room design, no room compendium, terrible bathroom layout, dreadful room service.
I was dreading check-out this morning, but then a revelation! Possibly the best check out experience I’ve ever had at a hotel. Nothing over the top, but warm, efficient, quick and considerate service – perfectly delivered by the front desk manager.
I left the hotel feeling good and just a little guilty that I’d been so hard on them the night before – everyone has bad days right?
So there you have it – my last experience at the Stamford Grand was fantastic. Will I be back – probably not, I prefer my regular pad in the city. What I won’t do is actively run them down to my other frequent travel buddies and when our office travel co-ordinator checks in, I’ll tell her we should use them again when required.
So while first impressions in business are important and can set you up for success, perhaps it’s your last or most recent experience that shapes your loyalty the most?
What do you think – should you judge a “book by its cover”?