The most important point of contact you have with a customer is in the first few seconds of engagement. This contact sets the tone for the rest of the entire interaction. Think of when you go to visit a best friend after a long absence and you are so happy to see each other. It shows in your facial expressions, body language, and voice tone. These same elements can welcome your customers and make them feel important right from the start.
Mary Kay Ash, the queen of Mary Kay cosmetics, use to say that she pictured the forehead of every one she encountered with the tattoo of MMFI (Make Me Feel Important). And, isn’t that what we all want to feel when we are bringing our business to someone? I want to be the center of your attention. I want you to be focused on me and my situation. I want to feel as if you are only concerned about me in that moment of time. Whether this first interaction is face-to-face, on the phone, or on-line, you need to make it a memorable and welcoming one.
GREET is a simple acronym that can be used as a great way to make the first point of contact a remarkable one.
G – Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening! Use the customer’s name when possible.
R – Read the customer’s emotions and identify with the emotion. “I can see you are concerned”, “I can hear you are frustrated”, “I can see you are excited”, “I can hear that you need help”. By identifying with the emotion before addressing the need, it shows you are paying attention to the customer personally.
E – Empathy with the situation. Actively listen. Show that you care and understand the impact of the situation through the appropriate facial expressions, body language, and voice tone.
E – Enthusiastically help and respond. This enthusiasm doesn’t have to be shouts from the rooftop enthusiasm, but show energy in the interaction. Have a sense of urgency.
T – Thank the customer right away for choosing you as the one to help them in their situation.
GREET works whether you are an employee in a retail store, governmental office, healthcare location, university department, telephone call center, on-line chat, or any other type of customer interaction. Make the customer feel important and they will keep coming back to you and refer you to others.