Saturday, March 13, 2010

Acknowledge People - Make It Personal

I have a favorite service provider which I frequent regularly. I realized the other day that the reason I prefer this provider is not just because of their services.

Except for a few exceptions, all of their people go out of their way to do something unique to make my day special. For one lady it is a perpetual smile which appears to be painted on her face permanently. When I initially met her, I was under the impression that perhaps this was a calculated effort to appear more warm and friendly when dealing with clients. However, the more I got to know her, the more I realized that this is just who she is. When talking to her the other day about her permanent smile she commented that she tries to always be happy and that one has a choice when they get up in the morning. Now when I enter their facility I find myself looking for her to handle my transactions. She can make my day with her smile which makes me feel happier, so of course I prefer dealing with her.

Another gentleman has learned my name and sticks out his hand to shake mine every time he sees me. The power of acknowledgment through touch and use of our name cannot be underestimated. We all know that there is nothing sweeter to our ears than our name. This combination of name use with a handshake is very powerful. Add to it the use the eye contact and a smile, and one has the recipe for powerful client interactions which lead to strong loyalties to a business, often for reasons beyond the basic products or services provided.

These anecdotes are strong evidence of lost or underappreciated social skills which, in a world focused on low prices and speed of service delivery could help create a business full of loyal and repeat customers. How many of these customers would be willing, or even glad, to pay more for our products and services because we make them feel special and appreciated. It's time businesses started making a concerted effort to train their employees to do these things. I’d say it’s another opportunity to create the 1 Percent Difference.

1 comment:

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