A Little Smile Goes a Long Way: The Importance of Good Customer Service

After a recent experience, it seems timely to talk about the impact of customer service. How do you like to be treated at the checkout counter…with a smile or a sour face?

Quite simply, customer service is, “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.” A receptionist represents the “face” of a business and gives the first impression of how that company or store does business. Are they happy to see you and appreciate you? Or are you an inconvenient nuisance to that person’s texting or daydreaming?

The recent experience mentioned above was not a good one. Encountering a receptionist who was either having a bad day or just shouldn’t be the face of the company, her attitude was one of being irritated. Maybe she should reconsider her career choice.

What we project to others does leave an impression. After all, here it is, days after encountering the grouchy receptionist, and the thoughts linger. It may sound trite, but a little smile can go a long way. You just may be the only person to share a smile with someone who really needs it. No one wants to feel invisible or that they are a bother.

As we are now in the thick of the holiday shopping season, consider the customer service you’re receiving. Do you leave the store or business feeling glad you came there and happy to support them with your dollars?

For those in the customer service business, don’t underestimate the impact your attitude can have on shoppers or clients. Everyone has frustrating days, gets impatient or just wants to be somewhere else. But what many don’t realize it that smiles – both giving and receiving them ­–  leave a good feeling inside, and happiness can be contagious. It is in your power as a receptionist, cashier, or sales associate to spread warmth. After all, it’s already cold enough outside!

As a business owner, don’t overlook the importance of sharing with your employees the expectations you have for giving your customers a positive experience. Included in any new employee orientation should be very specific guidelines to follow when it comes to customer service. You may think it’s obvious that people hear a smile over the phone, but do your employees know this is true?

Lastly, a customer left with a bad impression after walking out your door is more likely to share their negative experience with others than their positive one. News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience, and it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative encounter. As a business owner, ponder that, and make customer service a priority.

Connecting with a smile leaves a good impression and is the easiest thing you’ll do all day.