When I go to a coffee shop and receive a smile, a friendly comment, an awareness that I'm a regular, or a smilie face on my coffee cup, I tell people. I return to that coffee shop because I enjoy the experience. I become a repeat and cheerleader customer.
When I call a service company and the customer service representative is cheerful, listens to my issues, takes time to explain things I may not understand, and has a few light comments - even if it's about the weather - I am more willing to accept their processes and work together to find a solution.
However, when I go to a coffee shop and the barista does not smile and they are too busy to look at me or notice that I'm smiling at them, I'm inclined to not return to so often, and I'm certainly not talking about the exceptional service I received.
When I call a service company and the customer service representative is impatient, self-righteous, inattentive to my issues, unpleasant, or even rude, I'm more inclined to feel resistance building and not want to cooperate with protocol or required procedures.
We all know this stuff. When we are the customer, we want exceptional service and we know it makes sense for business and everyone involved.
Why then, do we receive so much poor service?
Difficulties, challenges, and changes occur all the time in business. Employees are affected. When the culture of the business is to just do business, employees will just do their job. In fact, when there is no attention given to them as human beings, some employees will do less than their job. When the culture of the business is to give attention to concerns, be patient when learning needs to occur, have compassion for personal and professional challenges, celebrate individual successes, and be truly interested in each employee - authentically - your employees will be more present and compassionate with your customers.
And then your customers will return. And talk about their positive experience with others - sending more customers your way.
Additionally, when you and your employees are present and compassionate, misunderstandings and resistance can decrease, increasing efficiencies.
Give your employees your attention. Be present with them. Take time to sit and listen. Ask questions. Make it part of your regular routine. Don't do anything else while you are talking with them. Be compassionate to their concerns. Find your human side and bring it. Allow your employees to be compassionate to each other's concerns. Watch what happens when your culture becomes more human.
Being more human and personal at work actually can improve business. Your employees follow your lead. Be more present and compassionate with them, and they will be more present and compassionate with each other and your customers.