The Shocking Truth about your Image - Four bizarre reasons customers may not like you
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fair or not, we
are often judged on first impressions.
This harsh reality is nowhere better seen than in today’s
business world where customers size-you-up in a nano-second based on
image. Since their impression of you will determine whether or not they
do business with you, the impact on your career and on your
bottom line can be staggering.
bring me in to speak at conventions on how to boost customer retention,
find that there’s been little or no professional training for employees
personal image. Since
it’s often awkward
to confront employees on these sensitive issues, you need some
make the task easier. Here
image-related reasons that customers may not like you or your
employees. Incidentally, customers
will never tell you
these reasons to your face – they’ll simply do business
1. You look different than expected
prefer conducting business with individuals who meet their visual
expectations. So if
you want to keep
customers, dress in a manner that customers expect.
A plumber dressed in an Armani suite makes
the client uncomfortable. An
khaki shorts would shock the council members of City Hall. A
waitress with too much
tattoos and body piercing would likely put off a patron in an upscale
restaurant. On the
other hand, a bar
tender in a conservative suit and tie may appall a customer in an
that’s not fair!” decry so
many employees at the thought of being told what to wear.
Again, first impressions
may not be fair, but
they are the realities of the business world. You hire employees to
take care of
customers - not for the sake of expressing their sartorial
can do that on their own time. Your
job as a business owner or manager is to
create an environment, including staff wardrobe, where your customers
most effective way to convey
this message to employees is to have a written dress code. When writing
code, it’s best to check with an attorney for the laws that apply in
great thing about a
dress code is it often weeds out wood-be applicants who wouldn’t feel
comfortable in that environment. That’s better for everyone.
“… many employees tell customers more than they
want to hear.”
You’re hard to understand
don’t want to strain themselves to
understand front line staff. If
other employees don’t speak the local language clearly, then customers
generally go to your competitors where they won’t have to work so hard
communicate – or to spend their money.
This is doubly important when speaking on the telephone,
don’t have the benefit of non-verbal communication to help them
what’s being said.
concept has nothing to do
with discrimination based on ethnic differences or
nationality. It has to do with basic
that are essential to do the job.
it’s a question of improving your knowledge of the local language, then
courses until you’re fluent and easy to understand– not just enough to
exaggerate to tell customers what they
want to hear. If a
task will take 15
minutes to complete, don’t say, “It’ll only be 5 or ten minutes.” This
called lying. Customers
hate that. Organizations
that stay in business over the
long term, adhere to the age-old adage, under
promise and over deliver.
cashier at a self-serve gas station who chatted with his friends while
entered to pay. He
barely stopped his
conversation with his buddies to take my money.
I felt like I was crashing a private party. I never went back.
this obvious display of
rudeness is relatively rare, a much more common example is when
converse amongst themselves in front of the customer. Numerous times
on airplanes when the flight attendants, while rolling food carts down
aisles, are so engaged in their personal conversations that they barely
long enough to take the dinner orders.
Meanwhile every passenger has to listen to their private
whether they want to or not.
To top-off the indiscretion list, far too many
tell customers more than they want to hear.
For example, when a customer asks a front line employee,
you?”, they really
don’t want to hear
just a greeting. Yet
some employees take this as an excuse to
complain with, “Oh, I’m 60-40”, or as a security guard once told me,
vertical.” (Yikes)! Some
respond with, “I’ll be great when my break starts.”
In other words, the employee will be happy
as soon as he or she can get away from their job and us – the
customers. All of these indiscretions
wish they were dealing with professionals.
There is hope
of these problems is half the
battle. A lot of
employees simply don’t
realize they’re committing these offenses.
Another part of the solution is training.
Bringing in a professional trainer to address
the employees as a group provides the advantage of third party
a fun non-threatening manner. One thing is clear though, if you do
about these issues, your business will continue to suffer without
telling you why.
About the Author
and corporate trainer. His focus
is, “The Art of Client
Influence with Ease.”® For
self-study kits, and information about booking Jeff
or call 1-800-jmowatt
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-11-04 15:26:56 in Marketing Articles