Metal staircases create a rotten first impression. They tell you that either they can’t be bothered to properly dress this part of a building, or that they can’t be bothered to create a good first impression with you.

I was staying at a hotel the other day. It was nearly impossible to find the stairs, which would be a worry if a fire alert precluded use of the abundant lifts. We had to ask a member of the cleaning staff to show us where they were. And they were horrid, as if the hotel wouldn’t dream of their valued guests ever wanting or needing to take the stairs.

Then there’s London Gatwick airport. When you come in from Ireland off the plane they take you through a different terminal entrance. I think the purpose of this is that you avoid having to show your passport, which is a useful micro-efficiency, but to get there you go through two flights of hideous metal staircases that wouldn’t look out of place in the staff stair well of a 1970’s hospital. It’s not a great first impression or airport welcome.

To my mind it’s really important you plan the literal journey your customer is going take to your home, office, town, or country. Do you want to make a good impression or a poor one? Do you care either way? Actually, you don’t have to tell us, because we’ll know.

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