I may well be the luckiest holiday maker in Great Britain. When I go to Wales on Holiday, I always come back with a tan, because it’s always sunny…
At least that’s how I remember it.
Memories of my recent holiday to Pembrokeshire are of relaxed family days on golden sandy beaches, rock pooling, dam building, kayaking and surfing. While I might indeed be lucky, I suspect that these blissful recollections have more to do with something known in psychology as the law of primacy.
My first exposure to Pembrokeshire was a sunny week over 20 years ago – to be honest, having had lots of exotic holidays in far flung places I was fairly sceptical about what I assumed would be a cold and damp British Holiday. Those first sunny days and weeks imprinted on me and I know that when the sun shines and the surfs up, the 3 mile expanse of golden sand at Newgale beach is every inch a match for Cape Tribulation in Queensland, in fact there are very few places in the world that can match it.
That first impression means that every sunny day re-enforces (through confirmation bias) what a great place Wales is, while the occasional murky day is forgiven as an appetiser for the next course.
It also helps that, every so often, just us you are contentedly thinking that all’s good in your world (during a momentary truce between squabbling children), nature will throw in the kind of stunning image that provides an emotional peak to your holiday – the biggest, boldest memory of the week.
So whatever your business – never forget that first impressions count and your reputation depends on how your customers remember their experience with you – memories which will be shaped by their first impressions, the emotional peak of their journey with you and how these memories are locked down by the last impression you leave. It might not always be sunny but how you deal with the rain will shape memories for years to come.