Recently I blogged about the right way to say goodbye to your customer. How you say hello to a customer is even more crucial — in fact, so important that Guy Kawasaki devotes several pages to the power of the first impression in his latest marketing best seller, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Leaving a good first impression creates a halo effect for your brand. My recent experience with consumer printer maker Epson is a case in point.
If you have ever set up a printer or any other consumer technology product, you understand why I felt like slitting my wrists when I realized I needed a new printer for my MacBook at home. Researching and deciding on the right one – an Epson Artisan 725 – wasn’t so bad; it was the set-up process that I dreaded.
I anticipated the painful and confusing wrestling match with information technology that I’ve come to expect with consumer electronics. Confusing instructions. Devices that won’t talk to each other. And perhaps a bewildering experience with a call center for good measure. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
One day the Epson Artisan arrived on my front porch like a bomb waiting to be activated. My first impulse was to clean my daughter’s hamster cage and finally get around to thoroughly understanding my employer’s expense reporting policies – anything to avoid a confrontation with the large cardboard box waiting for me.
Finally I caved in and opened the box. And I was in for a surprise: a flawlessly easy experience that transformed me from consumer-as-victim to Epson ambassador. Here’s why:
1. Epson shows empathy
As I opened the box, I anticipated having to wade through a lengthy manual and sorting through a box of random parts requiring assembly. Epson understood what I was thinking. I had barely opened the box when I encountered a slender, prominently placed envelope labeled, “Open Me First.”
Open Me First – like a welcome mat in front of a home. Immediately I felt just a bit more comfortable.