I love the holiday season! From Thanksgiving, (I’m not American, but I still love it), to Christmas, to New Years… The list seems endless.
I love the burst of colours in the retail outlets, the fact that all the salespeople are extra friendly, and the overall Christmas cheer in the air.
A little extra attention given to the ambience (not only during the holiday season but throughout the year), can go a long way in winning your customers’ hearts.
Before I go any further, let me tell you about a trick (yes, it was a trick) that a realtor once played on me. I later learnt that this trick (I insist on calling it a trick) is used by realtors the world over and looking back, I can see how it played on my brain.
This is what happened;
I was looking for a new apartment to move into so I sort out a realtor that had come highly recommended and arranged to meet him in a residential area.
When we met, he told me about an apartment that he wanted me to check out.
When I saw the apartment, I was shocked! In fact, shocked is an understatement.
The apartment was nothing like I expected; the walls badly needed re-painting, the furniture was drab and mismatched and, the rooms were dark and gloomy. The house had an overall “What was the owner thinking” atmosphere. It was downright unwelcoming.
I could not believe my eyes, and I definitely could not see myself living in that apartment.
I quickly dismissed the realtor and told him that I was going to look for another realtor because clearly, his choice was below my expectations. In fact, his choice was below any sane person’s expectations.
He then asked me to let him show me one more apartment before giving up on him. Reluctantly, I agreed.
Now talk of a stark difference! The second apartment was nothing like the first one; it had lots of natural light flowing in from the wall to wall French windows, the smell of freshly cut flowers filled the air, and beautiful candles adorned every corner of the house. The owner had clearly left no stone unturned. I did not want to leave!
The realtor then went on to tell me that he could not promise that the house was going to be available for long.
As you might have guessed, I took it.
I later learned that this is a trick used by many realtors. They first show you a dull, unpleasant house so when they then show you a beautiful house, its beauty is amplified by the fact that the first house was so, for lack of a better word, ugly!
You then do not want to let go of the beautiful house because your brain tricks you into thinking that all the other houses will be as ugly as the first one and bang! You are sold…
So, what does this have to do with soft skills or customer service for that matter? I say everything…
Look at it this way, if you do not pay attention to the tiny details, your business could well look like the ugly house. Once your customers visit a business such as the second house which pays attention to the tiny details, they may never want to come back to you.
Make your business like the second house and your customers will not want to leave.
This being the holiday season, make that extra effort with the ambience. Make it reflect the Christmas Cheer in the air. Make your business a pleasant place to be.
You can also go a step further by turning this into a team effort with your staff.
Below are a few suggestions;
1. Pick a Theme:
Picking a theme can be so much fun! Involve your staff in choosing a theme that reflects your company’s story. Come up with a colour scheme and make it magical.
2. Christmas Tunes:
Christmas carols bring back childhood memories to many. They scream, “The holidays are here!” Ask your staff to choose their favourite songs and create a playlist. After all, they are the ones that will be listening to the tunes day in day out.
3. DIY Décor:
Get your staff to make decorations. These can add a unique twist to your business instead of the usual cookie-cutter décor. Avoid cluttering the décor as you do not want to overwhelm your staff and your customers.
4. Bring out the Christmas Lights:
Include Christmas lights in your décor. Make sure all the bulbs are working and if they are twinkling, the better.
5. Festive Candles:
Candles have a way of bringing warmth to a room. A nice smelling fragrance can also make your customers feel positive and comfortable.
6. Throw a Christmas Cheer Staff Party:
Depending on the tradition in your country or town, choose a suitable time to put up the décor as a team building activity. Even if you are hiring a professional, there is always a way that the staff can help.
But the Christmas décor will not bring on the Christmas cheer if soft skills are left out of the equation.
It is also easy to get caught up in the magic of Christmas decorations and forget that someone could be going through the loneliest season of the year.
So go that extra Christmas Cheer mile by touching your customers using the simple soft skills tips that do not require much effort but go the distance.
The eBook, “The Captivating Art of Soft Skills” breaks down a few soft skills tips as follows;
- Welcome customers with a welcome that is so warm and enthusiastic that the customer feels like you are giving him a verbal hug
- Interact with the customers using positive adjectives that paint mental pictures
- Make sure that any issues that may arise are resolved. Apologize for any expectations not met and promise to look into it.
- Say a goodbye that puts a cherry on top of the customers’ experience. A goodbye that genuinely sounds like you would like them to return. (As human beings, we are wired to remember what we experience last more vividly. So, no matter what, do not let a customer leave with a bad taste in his mouth).
(Click here to download the free e-Book and get more details on the soft skills secrets that should never be underestimated).
Christmas incites emotions of magic and wonder in us. Pass this on to others, and they will reciprocate with the same.
Engage your employees in the process and build a productive environment where everyone loves to come to work.
Through it all, remember the saying, “Treat everyone kindly for everyone is fighting a great battle”.