Updated: May 10
We've long heard that it requires fewer muscles to frown than smile. If that is true, it sure seems in this chaotic world that this could easily be adapted to reserve some energy. How about using that smile as a no-cost marketing tool that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Do you notice retailers that have staff that smile? That look you in the eye as a customer? That talk to you? I do.
A number of years ago, I went into a small grocery store and the staff said "welcome", "how can I help you" and then "thank you ". It stunned me, because the store I had shopped for 20+ years never said anything to me. I had spent over $200,000 at this legacy store over my shopping life and when I checked out and I thanked them, the response was "no problem". Think about it.
Last week I entered a store I rarely frequent. The sound hit me right away - it was laughing. Someone said welcome and yet there was laughing in several corners of the store. The staff was having a good time, they were working and asking if I needed help, but clearly enjoying their day. They were expressing happiness and it was contagious. That experience extended all the way through my check-out. They were all smiling and happy. This was a large national chain.
Conversely, I had just left a legacy retailer (same one I had shopped at over 20+ years) and there wasn't a laugh or a smile to be found. In fact, there was a fight in one of the aisles by two 60+ men, because their carts could not fit through the aisle comfortably with the onslaught of the "in store shoppers".
Here's the deal. If I have to spend time and money getting to a retail store, I want the satisfaction of a good experience. How about creating an environment where your front facing staff feels comfortable to laugh and smile? How about one where the customers feels relaxed and happy? I'd buy some of that.
Robin has over 25 years of business advocacy and consulting experience with small and medium businesses.