Whatever happened to kindness? I'm not talking about taking candy from strangers, but exchanges in dialogue that are polite and friendly.
Have you noticed the service industry has fallen off the kindness wagon? Young and old alike are curt and uncaring towards their customers.
"It's over there," the shop-keeper tells the customer, distractedly pointing to a general area of the store.
Having a bad day, feeling tired, or sick or out of sorts does not give you an excuse to be mean to people! If you can't control your emotions, it's a sign you need to take a sick day.
Every day at Soul's Harbour RESCUE Mission, we deal with men and women off the streets, who are angry and troubled. It is an important step in their healing to treat them with dignity and respect. To turn the other cheek means we don't judge them for complaining about the soup. We go the extra mile and offer them a smile and encouraging words.
If there are people in your workplace that are thinking more about happy hour than the task at hand, chances are they are hurting your business and repeat customers. The key to the service industry is kindness, and kindness is expressed in simple ways.
*Greet your customers when they enter.
*Stop talking to your co-workers when customers approach.
*Focus on your customers. Treat them as special guests.
*Offer assistance, but don't hover.
*Smile before answering the phone.
*Pay someone a genuine compliment.
*Say, "Thank you."
*And, if you are thanked, say, "You're welcome."
It's a choice to treat others as better than yourself. It means committing to leaving what you are doing or saying, and look up with a smile as someone approaches you. A customer, or client, is never an interruption. They are the reason you are there!
The next time someone asks you where to find that certain item they are searching for, walk, don't point them over to the section of glittery beads and feathers for that special crazy craft they are planning. You might even show them the velvet ribbon you've got marked down in the bargain bin by the tills.
In fund raising, you don't consider a person a friend to your agency the first time they make a donation. It's that second gift that takes them from acquaintance, to friend. In business, growing your customer base is important, but not at the expense of sustainability. It's repeat business and referrals that make all the difference, whether you're a charity or a business.
Guest blogger, Michelle Porter, is the co-founder of Souls Harbour RESCUE Mission in Regina, SK and Halifax, NS, where she currently resides. When she is not at the Mission, you will find her enjoying her new home in Canada's Ocean Playground.