Body language plays such a big role in how we communicate with each other. Studies show that people pay more attention to your body language and voice tone than your actual words. Take a look at Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on You Tube and you will see the importance of how we sit, stand, and gesture.
The body language that is used when interacting face-to-face with customers is critically important to setting the tone of the experience. Think about the last time the cashier barely looked up from the cash register to acknowledge you and your purchase, the doctor who kept his focus on the computer filling in your diagnosis vs. looking at you, the sales rep who didn’t look up from their iphone, how did it make you feel?
Slouching behind a desk, holding your head up with your hands, crossing your arms across your chest or propping them on your hips, are all negative examples of body language. They communicate lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, defensiveness, or egotism.
Customers want to feel engaged with you when they are doing business with you. Show through your body language that you want to be partners with them and care about them. Slightly lean your body towards them when in person, give eye contact that shows you are listening, nod, and smile when appropriate. Stand up straight by evenly putting your weight on both legs and hold your chest up, this communicates a welcome of “I’m ready for you”.
One of the best ways to become aware of how you and your employees present yourselves is through the use of video-taping. Ask someone to discreetly walk through your business at various times and capture the different body language positions. It could be a great eye-opener for everyone and an opportunity to change a key touch point for the customer to be a better one. It’s important to remember your customers are always watching you once you come onto the stage of your business.