It is pretty easy to see when a person is not interested in your or what he/she is doing. That person is typically moving as if on auto-pilot, won’t look you in the eye and when he/she does, it is as if that person is looking right through you. You don’t feel positive after an encounter like that. You may feel that you have not been taken seriously, that you were not valued or just another faceless activity. This sort of encounter doesn’t exactly inspire you to rush back for more abuse. If you find better service elsewhere, you’re going to go there instead and not think twice about your choice.
Consider what difference it makes in your experience of a service provider if that person is really present during your interation with him/her and really engages you as an individual with specific needs. How do you feel when that person takes an interest in you, makes an effort to satisfy your needs or answer your queries and behaves as if that person is really glad that you are there and that they can assist you? The difference between these two encounters is enthusiasm. Seth Godin recently recounted an experience he had:
Normally, people just show up. They show up at work, or at a conference. They show up on vacation or even sometimes they show up at home.
They aren’t doing anything special, they’re just doing.
Well, I spent the day with several hundred enthusiastic people.
This group, led by Jennifer Young, didn’t just show up. They arrived. They were purposeful and positive and prepared and in a hurry… but in a good way.
It didn’t cost anything. It didn’t take any more effort (in fact, it probably ended up being less of an effort.) They got more out of me, more out of each other, more out of the day.
Enthusiasm has a lot to be said for it.
How do you respond to your customers when they interact with you? Do you go through the motions, secretly wincing at each word that comes out of that person’s mouth or at each moment that person keeps you on the line? Or do you embrace the opportunity to work with your customer, respond to his/her queries and satisfy his/her needs? Are you enthusiastic about your work and about providing a better service to your customers? They will know if you are not and they will respond in the same way you do when you encounter those vacant eyes from across the counter or desk. They won’t come back to you again or, if they do, you will never have a truly meaningful working relationship with them.