By Michael Soon Lee, Ralph R. Roberts

Service with a smile is always important for your business. To every customer you greet, your sincere facial expression should say, “I’m so glad to see you!”

Walking into any store or office for the first time can be a frightening experience for any customer. This is your turf, not theirs. They’re unfamiliar with the products and services, where things are located, and the person with whom they’re dealing. They may wonder whether you can meet their needs or whether your company is reliable.

To overcome the fear and trepidation a customer feels, always greet customers with a warm, sincere smile. Don’t be ‘fake’ about it. A gracious welcome goes a long way to

  • Reduces the customer’s fear of the unknown
  • Builds trust
  • Makes your customer feel good about him- or herself
  • Makes your customer feel good about doing business with you

You can work on your smile and use it during any customer interaction:

  • Get a smile review. Have someone watch you interact with a customer and note whether you smile when you first meet him or her. Did your expression seem sincere? How did the customer react? How often during your presentation did you smile? Could you have smiled more?
  • Remind yourself to smile, smile, and smile! If you’re not smiling when you greet a person, make a conscious effort to do so. Imagine yourself greeting a friend you haven’t seen in quite a while and have been looking forward to seeing.
  • Smile when talking to customers over the telephone. Put a small, standing table mirror next to your telephone with a note on it that says “Smile.” This should remind you to smile during phone conversations with customers. People can actually hear your smile — your voice automatically expresses the tone of someone who’s friendly and helpful. Many people’s first or only contact with you may be over the phone. Leave them with a great impression!

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