The Science of First Impressions
It takes just seven seconds for us to make a first impression comprising 11 critical assumptions, according to Dr. Michael Solomon’s work at NYU’s Graduate School of Business. Within those fleeting moments, we make instinctive judgments about a person, object, or scene, including their credibility, trustworthiness, sophistication, desirability, and more. Further research even suggests that our first impressions are so powerful, they can overrule facts.
And if a first impression is negative, it’s incredibly difficult to shake. A Harvard study suggests that it takes around eight positive encounters to reverse a bad first impression — a luxury that’s nigh-on impossible to come by in the hyper-competitive healthcare marketplace.
But how can you know what impression your healthcare facility is leaving on visitors and patients?
While there is bound to be a surprise or two that can be chalked up to the unknowable whims of the universe, many of the factors that define those critical seven seconds are controllable — the trick is in identifying them.
Try using the self-assessment below (or download the PDF) to reimagine your healthcare facility’s entry experience from the perspective of a new patient or visitor. Consider each aspect as if you know little or nothing about your facility. When you’re done, you’ll be equipped to decide if you’re truly making a good first impression with patients and visitors.