Great customer service is comprised of many things. Besides policies and procedures which lead to a satisfied customer, your smile, positive words, and open body language are just as important – and many say even more important. Here are a few ways businesses can put their customers at ease.
Since most open businesses now require customers to wear a facemask – as well as all employees – it’s almost impossible for your customer to see your smile. But a smile can be “felt” through the words you say and how you say them.
During this time of mask-wearing, we need to be more expressive with our greetings. Instead of simply saying good morning to your customer, stretch out your greeting like this – “Gooood mooorning”. Vary the pitch of your voice to imply excitement or happiness.
Look directly at your customer, make eye contact, and acknowledge their presence. Remember, you must be heard through your mask and may even need to speak louder. By taking these steps, your words may be muffled but the “feeling” will be felt and appreciated.
Positive body language
This should be followed by positive body language. Take an open stance and face your customer. Don’t cross your arms or keep them behind your back. A face-up palm conveys openness and honesty when speaking to or directing your customer.
One great tip, courtesy of Brandon Voss, president of the Black Swan Group is to lean forward and turn your ear toward your customer when they are speaking. This behavior is an indicator that says you genuinely value the other side’s opinion and are eager to hear what they’re going to say.
Words have special meaning
Follow up with phrases like these (and smile when you say them):
- I’m so happy you came in today.
- It’s great to see you. How have you been?
- Is there anything else I may help you with today?
- I appreciate you stopping by. Hope to see you soon.
- Thank you for your business.
You get the idea. For anxious customers who have been housebound, words have special meaning now. How you say them can make a difference.
Move freely, be animated. It’s ok to wave goodbye – it may even be preferable because it’s an outward show of how much you care. Customers need to feel the warnth of communication and the welcome of rekindled companionship.
They are anxious and unsure of what lies ahead. We can reduce their stress by bringing calmness and comfort to their day.
There’s a reason why guests book and customers shop with you. Let’s reinforce the reason(s) with our ability to put our customers at ease each and every day.
P.S. These suggestions can be used every day, not just through these difficult times.