From CEO to the maintenance person, every industry, and every culture has had a fundamental couple of #custexperience tools for centuries to build trust with customers; the smile and the handshake. It even has been the seal of any agreement or contract until maybe just over a century ago. The concepts are so simple and that virtually every individual has in their “skill toolbox” … if they use it. For that matter, I see young people going into the professional world lacking the consciousness or possess too much suspicions of others to say a happy “hello” on the telephone or provide a firm handshake.
Companies are spending vast amounts of capital, massive training programs, coming up with complicated metrics yet are not looking at the obvious strengths that they already have. For instance, with the holiday shopping season approaching, how might a consumer feel if a retail salesperson were to approach them and instead of asking if they would like help? Usually, they raise their virtual shields and state the obligatory “just looking”. Instead maybe they try ” hello, my name is John or Jessica”, with a pleasant smile, and reach out to shake the person’s hand? The salesperson has presented them a hand of trust and friendship. Now you might respond by sayingthat some people might be shocked or scared off, a handshake may not be returned, etc. However, what would happen if they smiled back and returned the handshake? Simply, a ground level employee has provided a customer a fantastic experience, guaranteed trust, friendliness that separates your business from everyone and increased the value of the products, the company the #brand, and every other individual.
Today, in business and gee, even in person we are begging for a greater trust and cooperation. #custservice is so much more more effective when punctuated at the beginning and the end with a smile and a handshake. Years ago when pay phones were prevalent, a study was reported on television by a young @JohnStossel. Here is how it went:
A. An extremely attractive blonde approached a number of random men and would ask if she could borrow a quarter to make an important telephone call. Note: There was no physical contact made by the woman to the prospective lender. The result was that of the ten people, one provided a quarter.
B. A second group was then done in the study, the same situation, a quarter needed for an important phone call but the difference was a light touch to the right forearm with a hand. The result was dramatic, 80% provided the money wanted.
This story is not to help street beggars. John Stossel’s interpretation was that touch had an impact with the way we communicate. I wish to add one more interpretation; that the people lending the money were providing that quarter not because of the communication but also because they perceived a value of that simple touch being worth 25 cents and they were glad to assist in her fictional need. This value could potentially extend to products and services.
This stream of thinking relayed, I ask in this very busy time of year that we head into that we lend our trust and friendship to business acquaintances, long lost associates, strangers suspicious of our integrity, and even our tough competitors. We should not expect that every person/company will grasp the “extended hand” in trust. Then again, what’s the harm. Here is what you will gain, more business allies, rediscovered friendships and associations, and increased self-value.
- The Microsoft Store on eBay opens! (blogs.technet.com)