Here’s a simple story and customer service tip you can share with your team:
When Kristen placed the phone back in it’s receiver, she was bursting with pride. As the Executive Director of a large Continuing Care Retirement Community, she had never received a phone call quite like this one. The caller had been the daughter of a woman who had moved into their skilled nursing community the day before. “I just want you to know,” she told Kristen, “we looked seriously at 3 differently places. Choosing the right community for Mom has been one of the most important decisions of my life. We chose yours because of the friendliness of the staff. Everywhere we went in your building, people smiled and gave us warm greetings. It made our choice easier and we’re both glad she’s here with you.”
WOW!! Such a simple customer service tip that made a big difference in the lives of this elder and her daughter.
This happened to one of our clients at Red-Carpet Learning Systems. Little did the caller know that we had been training the team on the importance of those smiles and welcoming greetings! This is the simplest customer service tip we can share. Each team member was already a friendly person. The difference was that now they were intentional about it. Perhaps you’ve heard it said that a smile is the same in any language. A genuine smile and warm welcome is certainly the first step in building rapport with that customer in front of you. Chances are, when you smile at them, they’ll smile back. Add a friendly greeting such as “Welcome” or “Good morning! So nice to see you!” and you’ll make a red-carpet first impression on your customer.
Take Action: The Ritz-Carlton gives their team members this helpful way to remember to smile and greet guests. It’s called the 10 Foot; 5 Foot Rule. When you are within 10 feet of a guest, smile at them. When you are within 5 Feet, provide a friendly greeting. If you work with people in person, intentionally practice this rule today! If you work with them over the phone, remember—people can hear you smile through your voice as well. If you work only through text and e-mail, use punctuation to convey an upbeat tone. Remember to add a friendly greeting and kind departure statement, such as “Have a great weekend!”
Donna Cutting, CSP is the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. and the author of 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers. (Career Press, 2015)