Eye Contact -- How Important Is It?
Mardi Milligan, MBA, Copyright 2009
Walk into any business and look around. See how many employees look up and greet you with eye contact and a smile. Immediate acknowledgement of customers through eye contact should be a common sense requirement of every employee.
Last week a friend and I walked into a business, which was a "seat yourself" family restaurant. We picked the only available table, complete with dirty dishes and a three dollar tip. It was close to the front entrance, cash register, counter and kitchen. We sat there for eight minutes as waitresses and a bus boy walked back and forth. The bus boy came and cleared the table. When I greeted him, he spoke, but never looked at either one of us.
I watched customers sitting at their tables and employees doing their "duties." Yes, it was busy, but employees weren't frantic. However, not one employee looked at us and acknowledged our presence. When the waitress came by, she wiped the table and as she took our order, she finally looked at us.
My friend ordered a special creation, and the waitress left to ask the cook if he could do that, and the cook agreed. The food was good, but not really exceptional. We paid the bill and noticed the cashier didn't even say "thank you" or "thanks for coming in."
Fine Tuning Tip of the Month:
Treat your customers like fine china: Hard to find, and expensive to replace!
It doesn't matter what kind of business you're in. If you're busy and you see a customer walk in, please acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a smile. If you can't help them immediately, let them know you'll be with them as soon as you can.
If you don't treat them as special, they won't be back. This week, my friend wanted to go back because the cook fixed that special creation which wasn't on the menu. Me? I suggested we go somewhere else, where service is excellent, and everybody acts like they're glad you stopped in. So, we didn't go back to experience mediocrity. We went where employees greet you with a smile and treat you special. And incidentally, it's not surprising--they have a tremendous business!
Call 406-542-9258 now for a powerful customer service training
Tune up and energize all who attend!