Nergish Wadia-Austin discusses the real cost of staff appearing unfriendly to their customers and how managers everywhere underestimate the real cost to their business.
Recently, I observed this scenario unfold in 35 minutes, all as a result of a salon team forgetting how important smiling and being friendly was to keeping their customers happy. As a manager, if you have not insisted on smiling being a basic requirement for the entire duration of a staff member’s shift, then you have not considered just how much the lack of smiling and being friendly will cost your business in the short term.
These were some of the negative effects and costs to this business that I observed immediately:
A justified and unpleasant scene was caused by a terribly distressed customer who had been ignored for 35 minutes
Other customers were disturbed and given cause for concern
Other staff were distracted and embarrassed
The manager had to become involved for the next 25 minutes delaying their tasks for the day
Customers start furiously tweeting, Facebooking about how horrible the service in this business is, thereby influencing at least 1% of online & social media contacts
The customer proceeded to fill in a negative online review that the manager then had to spend more time responding to
A refund or special gift that has to be delivered to the customer as compensation for her feelings
The word of mouth damage the customer will do to that local business by telling their friends and work colleagues will be extensive
…And all because nobody in that salon smiled and acknowledged them!
There needs to be a clear directive and protocol for absolutely every aspect of customer service with huge emphasis on greetings and goodbyes! After all they are the first and last impressions you make.