As an employee, you should always put your best face forward. The customer does not know your personal circumstances, and more importantly, should not have to take those things into account when deciding whether to do business with you. One of the best ways to leave customers with a positive first impression is to start with a smile.
Smiling can play a crucial role in a customer’s shopping experience. It sets a friendly tone, and it projects the idea that, as an employee, you are approachable, accessible, and happy to be of service. A welcoming environment puts the customer at ease, and makes it more likely that he or she will want to spend money with you.
Not only that, but cracking a genuine smile does more than project positive feelings. It can help generate them. People who smile often, even if they do it consciously, tend to feel happier than people who rarely do. That means making an effort to smile even on days when you would much prefer to scowl can boost your mood and, as a result, contribute to a better customer experience.
Sometimes, employees are not the ones having a lousy day. Anyone who has worked in a service-based field has probably dealt with an irate customer who is nothing short of a nightmare. Here, smiles are incredibly useful, as well. If you are interacting with someone in a bad mood, you cannot directly control their temper. However, you can control your body language, including your facial expressions. Respond to negativity with a smile, which is perhaps the most positive body language you have.
Keeping things positive on your end can also stop a potentially heated situation with a customer from escalating. If you respond to rude behavior with rudeness of your own, on the other hand, you will probably make difficult customers turn into impossible customers.
The benefits of smiling apply to more than face-to-face communication. Even on the phone or by internet chat, you and your employees’ attitudes show through more than you think. If your nonverbal signs are positive, the rest of your communication tends to fall in line with that attitude. On the phone, many people can instantly hear the difference between someone who is smiling on the other end of the line. Even online, where there is no vocal inflection, having an outwardly cheery disposition can affect your Internet correspondence. If you have a smile on your face while you write, you will probably come across as warm and friendly, which customers appreciate.
So, make an effort to smile when you interact with your clientele. It will make all the difference in the world about how your customer views your business and how much they spend with you.