There are certain stores and restaurants that I really enjoy going to, and there are others that I avoid like the plague. And no, its not about how expensive they are, it’s simply because of the attitude of the staff who work in them. Good attitudes, I’m a loyal patron. Rubbish attitudes, I take my business elsewhere.
This morning I was face to face with a cashier and was greeted with a “Hello, how are you doing today?” I answered with the standard “I am great, thank you” and I then proceeded to open up Pandora’s box by returning the greeting. This is where I hold my breath and wait. Would the nasties erupt from the box? Would I have to be subjected to the wretchedness of this women’s life? Thank goodness, not this time! As a customer I could clearly see from her happy response that this young lady was being genuine (please note that I only shop at the cool attitude stores). Together with her cheery disposition I was also presented with a lovely smile and great eye contact. She then proceeded to greet her colleague who was walking past us, not missing a beat mind you whilst scanning my goods.
Just from that 2 minute engagement this morning the impression I was given was that this lady enjoyed her job and got on with her colleagues.
Businesses lose money every year, due to customers like me. We won’t patronise your business if your staff are miserable, rude or disengaged. Why should we put ourselves through that misery when there are so many other fantastic businesses out there who look after their customers. It doesn’t matter how many deals or specials you advertise, if your staff suck and the experience is painful, I will not cross over to the dark side and do business with you.
So how do you get your staff to engage positively with your customers? The biggest secret and this may sound cliched, but its true is, if you look after your staff they will genuinely look after your customers. Simple.
Many businesses believe they are in competition with other businesses selling similar products and services, and therefore the business focus becomes external and so often placed on being better than the competition. The thing is, is that your competition could actually be inside your business. You could be competing for customers against your own staff. Disengaged and disgruntled staff, without even knowing it.
By creating a great place to work, building a strong and positive corporate culture your staff will want to come to work and they will come with smiles on their faces and interact positively with your customers.
With “creating a great place to work”, I am not talking about going out and physically building lavish staff recreation rooms and offices. I am talking about creating the right environment, where your team has a safe non-judgemental space in which to work, be acknowledged, be listened to and made to feel truly valued by you.
If you want to have an engaged workforce, try bringing in an external coach to work with your team. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.