by Sarina Rapini
In the age of technology where videos and photos travel a million miles per second, our population has developed a desire for immediate gratification. Restaurants and retail stores compete with each other to see who can get their goods and services out the fastest while still maintaining good customer service. However, while many companies urge their employees to smile, give a scripted greeting, or thank their customers, it is the little impromptu things that really create great customer service. A compliment on a necklace, remembering a name, or an employee simply asking your plans for the day can make all the difference in the world. When Starbucks writes your name on the cup and calls out your name, “Sarina,” rather than, “Tall nonfat latte,” you stop feeling like just another order and more like a welcomed friend.
While employees rush to be efficient and get each employee in and out, they sometimes forget that each transaction is an experience for the customer. The employee that has worked from 8 to 5 every day sees their job as an everyday event, but the customer may only come there once every few weeks. Customers might be unsure of a particular establishment’s norms and feel uncomfortable or anxious when getting assistance as the employees rushes them along. Customers can be pleasantly surprised when an employee asks, “Have any big plans for the day?” or, “That is a really neat shirt, where did you get it?” That experience can turn into something memorable and priceless. It might even be something they tell their friends about. It helps the customer relax and reminds them that they are talking to a human being. It’s a benefit for both parties too. Instead of scripted greetings and forced smiles, employees are able to relax and enjoy the people they are serving. Jobs can be more interesting with unique conversation, and customers who feel appreciated and comfortable are much easier to assist. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special, and it can make all the difference. They might even put away their iPhone
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