Encourage your employees to be themselves

“Good one hi good day so far thanks $4.50 there you go good one.”

That’s word for word what I experienced from someone serving in a Canberra convenience store recently. There were no pauses, no obvious beginning or end.

The first good one was for me as I picked up my purchase and left. One step to the door I heard the next customer get the same script except for the purchase value. The next customer got the same too.

Fake interest is not good customer service. Rote delivery of catch phrases is not good customer service.

The best retail employees are those who are authentically engaged with customers without spending too long to the disservice of other customers.

By authentically engaged I mean: making eye contact, smiling, saying what they mean to that person at that time. by using sentences and not brief catch phrases like good one. This should have been have a good one meaning have a good day.

I urge retailers to encourage their employees to be themselves, engage in genuine greetings and not talk from a script. Tell them to ask sensible questions too. In my example, I was asked if I’d had a good day so far at 6:15 am. I was in a suit and had clearly not been up all night. But how would the person serving know? They did not look at me once.

One of the best ways we can differentiate our businesses is by being ourselves and by not following a tiresome corporate script.


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