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FIRST MOMENTS – THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE

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WHAT’S THE VALUE OF A VALUE IF IT’S NOT PART OF THE FIRST EXCHANGE?

I arrive at the headquarters of a Fortune 100 company, dressed in full, elegant high-end business attire. The guard at the front door steps out from behind his wooden podium to block
me. “Can I see some ID?”

Nice greeting. Imagine if his opening line had been, “Welcome to XYZ company. For your security and to keep everyone here safe, may I see your ID?” Big difference.

This, however, is not his fault. It’s likely that his orders were, “Stop people and check ID.”  But what percentage of people coming into this building (and yours) are actually interlopers or terrorists? If the significant majority of those entering your environment are either employees of the company, consultants who contribute to your company’s success, or clients and prospects who are ultimately writing your paycheck, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to have the standard opening line be one of welcome?

Your front door is not a border crossing, and if your company has “humanity”, “community”, “client focus”, or “world class service” as a top value, why isn’t this value part of the first exchange?

What’s the value of a value unless it shows up in all interactions, especially the FIRST?

* * *

In my keynotes, communication skills & presentation skills training events, I work with clients on their intention.  What’s the “Throughline”?  This is important because Intention (your Throughline) affects behavior.

Let’s look at the guard’s intention. It was something along the lines of, Intention A:  Block & Check ID. But imagine if it had been… Intention B:  Welcome & Confirm ID.

Intention affects your tone, your delivery, the words you use and the feeling generated in the person to whom you are speaking.

What’s the intention of your front office staff and security team? What’s the direction you give them for reacting to someone coming through your front door? Are your organization’s values made manifest and readily apparent in the very first live, in-person exchange someone has with your company?

Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to go talk to your security desk.

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