Although it may seem basic, a simple smile can be one of the best and easiest ways to make a strong, positive first impression! Smiles are also contagious! When you genuinely smile at someone, it makes them feel more relaxed and inclined to smile back. A true smile instantly builds trust and opens the path for communication. Plus, did you know that smiling can literally elevate your overall mood? When we smile it tricks our brain into releasing more dopamine and serotonin which are the “feel good” chemicals our brains make! All in all, a smile is a key aspect to building positive impressions!
Active listening is one of the most important and often most forgotten aspects of quality engagement. In order to provide top notch service and leave a truly positive impression, you have to genuinely listen. People can tell when they’re being listened to and when they’re being tuned out. Although it may seem appealing on a busy day to rush through each customer it’s so important to make sure that you are listening to their comments and concerns sincerely so that you can adapt and provide the absolute best service possible! When you genuinely listen not only do people feel validated, but they feel satisfied and will likely in turn listen to what you have to say as well! Listening can be especially important when it comes to building rapport! If there are client or customers who you see on a regular basis, take the time to really listen to their preferences, quirks, and anything else they may share so that next time you see them you can give them a personalized greeting and interaction.
(3) Seek Solutions, Not Obstacles
There’s little worse for a first impression than a lack of effort. No one expects you to know everything, but by showing that you are willing to do everything in your power to help the client you are creating a strong positive impression! Rather than throwing your hands up and giving in, use phrases like “You know, I’m really not too sure but let me find out for you!” and “That’s an excellent question! I’m not too sure but let me find someone who might know” will show the individual that you are dedicated to seeking solutions. There’s little more frustrating than coming across a gate keeper who shows little know-how and effort. Remember, it’s okay to not know! Just make sure to be honest and move towards a solution!
(4) Be Personal
In the same way that you should seek to listen and learn more about your customers, make an effort to introduce yourself and allow them to get to know you as well! It’s no secret that the service industry can be a tough industry to work in. It can be very physically and emotionally taxing! One of the best ways to make it easier on you is to build positive relationships and humanize yourself. If you can comfortably share your name and 3 basic facts about yourself then you are no longer a stranger, you’re a human with real human attributes. Humanizing yourself will not only allow you to better be of service to your customers, it also allows them to better understand how to interact with you! Next time you’re on the phone or face-to-face, take a moment to really introduce yourself and you’ll likely be amazed at the kinds of interactions you can have after that.
(5) Leave Positive Impressions
Similar to smiling, the most basic “Hello,” “Welcome,” and “Thank you” can make a world of difference for the customer. Always make sure to leave people on a positive note by wishing them a wonderful day or week or weekend. Leaving people on a strong, positive note will lead to better customer retention, better customer relationships, and it shows a certain level of care and attention.
What many people don’t realize is that it’s actually pretty easy to create a strong positive impression. A genuine smile and greeting, active listening, and being friendly will almost never fail! If you follow these basic guidelines then it’s only a matter of time before you’re an ace at creating positive customer relations!