How familiar are you with your customers and how well do you customers know you? If you are like most others, you may recognize faces but no names. Hopefully everyone who enters your business gets a greeting, but do you really care how he is doing? I remember how impressed I was last year when our regional manager visited Reno. She spoke of a small store in the bay area where all of the associates knew every customer’s name. Being a creature of habit, if I knew of a store like that, I would never shop anywhere else.
Customer experience starts with a businesses leadership team. It is not necessary to be best friends with your fellow managers but it helps when you get along at the workplace and genuinely care about each other. On the occasions I have gone to work stressed out about school, my kids or the weather, my colleagues noticed and took the time to talk with me. At this point they were not nosy, just concerned for my well-being.
In turn, I treat the associates with the same amount of care and respect when I can see visual signs on their faces or in their body language that point to an issue. I value them as internal customers not simply as employees.
Customers visit your business to fulfill a desire. The customer experience directly affects whether or not they will buy goods or services from you. By engaging the associates, they are better able to capitalize on customer needs. From inertia built by the leadership team, the associates are now ready to authentically meet and greet customers.