I hurriedly left the library I was working in earlier today due to the terrible hunger I was feeling. I tend to work better and longer on a fairly empty stomach but like many habits I sometimes take it too far. This was one of those occasions. The hot sun that hit my face when I got out in the open from the cool air-conditioned building didn’t help matters either. I was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable.
The first shop I entered to grab a bite was a pharmacy/mini-mart opposite the library I had just left. After looking around the shop for a while, I walked towards the counter where I had seen some imported biscuits placed on a rack. I picked one I’m used to buying and asked the sales person, a middle-aged woman, how much it cost. I already had an idea of the price so when she mentioned an amount higher than what I was used to buying it I smiled at her and told her I could actually get it cheaper in a supermarket just a stone throw away. I then dropped it back on the rack and slowly walked away but still looked around on my way out of the place.
One thing I remembered while walking out was that she had a very unfriendly disposition even before I opened my mouth to speak. Despite my attempt to be friendly, it didn’t improve her mood and neither did it improve mine.
Even though we’re not consciously aware of it, it’s a known fact that other people’s moods tend to affect ours…
When I stepped outside, the hot Sun again reminded me that I needed to buy a cold drink and I was suddenly longing for a bottle of coke. So I walked back into the shop, opened the fridge, and took out a chilled drink. As I began walking towards the counter, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing the face of the lady there especially after my earlier encounter. I was pleasantly surprised though to see another lady with a very welcoming smile; she wasn’t even looking at me at the time. I then took an even deeper look at her to scan her face and see if her smile was forced but she was clearly smiling naturally. I paid for the coke but lingered for a few seconds because honestly I was happy to be around her even if for only that brief moment. If not for the extra price I had decided not to pay, I would have taken the biscuit I had attempted buying earlier just because of her. The pharmacy/shop now seemed like a happier place to be in and I was all of a sudden glad to be there, all because of one smiling sales person across the counter.
We often don’t appreciate the impact a smile and happy disposition can have on customers and our businesses, for those of us that deal with customers frequently. A friendly smile and disposition may not make a customer spend more money than he/she had planned to at that time but it will most likely make them return another day just because of the way they felt and the atmosphere of the place. That was my experience and I believe it would apply to any other person.
This might sound like a no-brainer but we often forget to apply this simple rule to our daily lives so it becomes a part of us. It would ensure we don’t have to put on a forced smile when attending to customers and clients. Also, instilling it in employees minds would ensure it becomes a part of the organisations culture.
- Are You Delivering Service With a Smile? (bigmarketingsmallbusiness.com)
- Simply Smiling Can Actually Reduce Stress (blogs.smithsonianmag.com)
- Give Me a Smile (lottspace.com)
- Smiling at Strangers (creativitypost.com)