Earlier this week the international airport in Haiti cut the red-ribbon on their quite desperately needed remodeling. I have been through that airport the last two summers and it’s frightening. I would like to know where there’s a more intimidating international airport on the planet. Not only are there literally cracks visible in the main building’s façade (see photo I took in 2011 below)–resulting from the earthquake in 2010, but inside (not as a result of a natural disaster) the baggage claim area is nightmarish-ly chaotic. The restrooms…let’s just say our team leader told us, “You might want to go now, on the plane. You might not be up for it when we land.” You know there are issues when the lav on the plane is the restroom of choice.
Time for a facelift!
[Photos courtesy: Haiti Libre]
As you know, first impressions are critical and often irreparable if it doesn’t go well. For businesses now, your website is very often that first impression. Even if you have amazing products and services, you might be losing some clients from a poor web image. Make sure if a prospect finds you first through your website, your company’s LinkedIN page, your Facebook page, that you’re cool with that. If not, improve it.
Similarly, in email marketing, the #1 most read email is the Welcome email. If your customers subscribe to your newsletter, or have just purchased an item, that “Welcome” email is a vital part of your first interaction. Make sure you have a great (not good) Welcome email.
In Haiti, they are dealing with an image problem. Some, deservedly so, and some not. Some due to impressions, but not reality. Even if your current clients know “what’s on the “inside” is very good stuff, it can still be hard for them to refer business your way if your website or physical facilities are not that attractive or professional.
Kodak coined the popular “Image is Everything” with tennis star Andre Agassi as it’s superstar ad man. We know that image really isn’t everything and that a lot of failing things are only skin deep, but for success in business, for your organization’s mission, or for the sake of rebuilding a nation, a good image can really help bridge the gap until they come in contact with your smiling face. Until then, perception is reality.