Despite the tidal wave of customer care training and theorizing, people who deal with the public for a living are usually dire when it comes to simple transactional skills . The worst are the ones who believe they're "people" people . They usually manage to patronize or act. Some are exceptionally rude
Front-line work is really easy work, though. The public are secretly easily pleased It's just that when those small shreds of status that we like to hold so dear get put through yet another pulping machine, we tend to fight back or turn on our heel and go off for good
My advice for front-line body language is going to be terribly, terribly basic . You'll say you know it all already but—as I always tell the delegates on my training courses—there's a whole wide world between knowing and doing Simple though these steps are, they're also absolutely vital, and front-line staff who get them all right are as rare as hen's teeth I Acknowledge people right away . Not once they've got to your desk or counter, and definitely not once you've finished what you're doing Good frontline staff have huge antennae stalking out of their foreheads They twitch when a customer is even in the vicinity They know when someone is about to walk in, and they're looking up the moment they do If you're busy on a call or with another customer, just catch the person's eye and nod . He or she will probably weep with gratitude I Give polite "wait" signals . One raised finger that is slightly bent will do, or a small smile and nod Maybe even a few fingers held up to show you'll only be a couple of minutes I Smile. And make it a good one . Look genuinely pleased to see the customer—not overly eager or relieved—and don't smile as though they're the very best thing that's ever happened in your life But do execute a nice smile that looks friendly Make sure it's in your eyes, too I Ignore their lack of response. If you're smiling in the hope that everyone will smile back and the world will suddenly be made of candy and bluebirds will start whistling songs from Mary Poppins, you're delusional . Whatever your face does and no matter how good your smile is, it's likely you'll be looking at a deadpan or even scowling response The good news is that it doesn't matter one whit! Whatever our faces do—and I'm speaking for customers everywhere here—we're thinking our smile inside It's just that it could take a few years before it reaches our lips We've often been commuting and that means we've spent an hour or two dogfacing I Lean forward slightly when you first speak . It shows an intention and a desire to help I Use eye contact .
Continue reading here: Youll look sickeningly cute I Keep appropriate space between you and your customer
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