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Excellent Customer Service Tip: How a Simple Greeting Can Create Business Success
When business experts talk about customer service and business success, little attention is given to the humble act of greeting the customer. Sure, there is a huge fuss on speedy service, quality assurances, response time, after sales service. In fact, all these and others are imperative when it comes to providing excellent customer service. But there's one customer service tip I want to emphasize - greet customers properly and business success will sure to follow.
Customer service lesson from an old store keeper
Recently, I had the chance to visit a small convenience store. What I noticed intrigued me! At the counter was an elderly man manning the cashier. I think he was the owner of the business. Three other employees were going about their daily duties all around the store. As I entered the small convenience store, the elderly gentleman gave a warm smile and said hello. I replied with my own pleasantries and went straight to the refrigerated items for my distilled water. The young lady tidying the shelf to my left stopped her work and approached me and greeted me with a warm “How may I help you?” I said I’m alright and she continued her work. After a few seconds, another customer entered the store and was greeted with the same warm smile and hello. This time, it was more personal. “Kamusta na Arnel” - How are you Arnel?. The other store employee turned around and said “Hi kuya” [kuya means older brother in Filipino]. They exchanged pleasantries and the customer proceeded to gather some items. This routine of everyone greeting the customer continued without lapse. As I proceeded to pay for my purchases, I asked the owner of the store if he knew everyone who came in. He seemed perplexed with the question but he indulged with a simple answer – no. So I continued with my curiosity and asked why he greeted the customers. “Iho, hindi lang kami nagtitinda dito, gumagawa kami ng relasyon sa mga cliyente namin, nagsisimula yan sa pagbati ng maayos.” - Young man, we don’t just sell here, we create relationships with our clients, and it starts with greeting them properly.
Different greeting spiels
Basic greeting spiel: Welcome to COMPANY
2-point greeting spiel: Welcome to COMPANY. How may I help you?
3-point greeting spiel: Welcome to COMPANY. I’m NAME, How may I help you?
There are numerous variants to the spiels but the formula is the same.
Why greet the clients
Welcome the clients properly
A warm welcome can set the mood for a positive experience. Greeting the client offers the opportunity to start off on a positive note. Moreover, greeting clients emphasizes that they are welcome to do business with the company.
Make them feel at ease
Greeting the clients sets that mood for the entire transaction. Furthermore, this puts the client’s mind at ease that there are people ready to help them when needed.
It’s a marketing and branding strategy
In many industries, greeting spiels are rehearsed. Moreover, it is used as a marketing and branding tool for the business. Increasing brand or company recall is important and greeting is a good opportunity to do this.
Excellent customer service does not start when the client purchases an item or avails of a service. As I have learned from the unassuming gentleman behind the counter, greeting the clients is a good place to start.