Most of us have very often heard the statement, “you never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Whether you work in an established customer service company or in a small retail shop around the corner, it is essential for all service people to create a first positive impression with customers the first time they enter their shops and offices.
The first contact starts with the cleanliness of your shops as well as with your personal appearance. The orderliness of your desk, shelves, environment shows how methodological you are.
Have you ever sat on the chair in front of your desk to see what your clients see when they sit in front of you? All service people should learn how to create positive, lasting impression and pay attention to the 4x20 rule.
The 20 steps
As we explained last week, your appearance is your image and is the first thing the customer notices. It is therefore important for service people to dress up according to the standards of their businesses.
Understand what professional dress code means. It is not all the dresses you have that can be worn to work. Have you also noticed people here in big companies wearing flip-flop sandals and clothing that reveals too much their cleavage?
Many people think that business dress down on Fridays is an occasion to dress up shabbily as if going to the market or to the night club.
Service people should always look neat, smart and professionally dressed even on Fridays.
The 20 cm of your face
It is important to take care your face, your body odor, your hair, your make up etc… The last time I went into this Internet café in town, the service person was nice but had an incredible bad body odor.
Service people should not neglect their personal grooming. Always strive for consistency, look good and smell good. Deodorants are a must, as they help keeping body odour at bay.
Also after lunch, please make sure you do not have a bad breath to avoid your clients running away when you open your mouth.
The 20 first words
Delivering good customer service begins with good communication.
Your greeting with a smile should tell the customer, “I am glad you’re here!” I have often had debates during training sessions on who should be the first person to greet.
A friendly greeting by a service person immediately disarms the clients and sets them at ease. It sets the tone for the rest of the interaction. A lively voice shows your dynamism.
The following words are probably the most important words that every service person should use in all encounters:
‘Good Morning’, ‘How may I help you?’ ‘Thank you’, ‘Gooodbye or have a nice day.’
The 20 first seconds
Smile when you meet the customer. Your sincere smiles can melt the coldest hearts. So let it be the first sign of welcoming to your client.
For those who handle many customers in a course of a day, remember that every customer deserves the same courteous treatment.
Take care of each customer in a professional manner whether it is at 8am or at 4pm. If you are in bad mood, the customer will sense it and feel very uncomfortable with you.
This might make him get a poor image of you, your company and maybe the country as a whole. Remember the image of Rwanda lies also in your hand.
The writer is a customer care consultant currently working in projects in Rwanda.