For consumers and businesses alike, this is the most stressful time of the year. We all get wrapped up (please pardon the holiday pun) in the energy of the season. Service is sometimes sacrificed to ensure expedient transactions.
Business owners, managers and supervisors, for example, are facing down the final days of the year. Besides year-ending, we are planning and setting goals for the business year ahead, and at the same time, are trying to provide our customers with the highest level of service possible.
Consumers are stressed as well. All the shopping, wrapping, baking and decorating between working and caring for families heightens the anxiety level of those who are doing business with us. They want to get in and get out of our stores and businesses so they can get on with the tasks of the season.
[tweetthis]Slowing the customer down, even if just a little, while still meeting their need for an expedient transaction, has positive benefits.[/tweetthis]
At your daily staff meetings, remind your staff of the following important ways to help your customers relax and enjoy the holiday season:
- Create stress-free environments in your organization. What a customer sees, hears or smells when they enter your place of business has an impact on their stress levels. Decide what you can do to “soften” the environment to help them have a better experience.
- Would softer, slower holiday music help?
- How about a table of hot cocoa, marshmallows and even cinnamon to sprinkle, if space allows?
- Does your harsh lighting need diffusing?
- Task an employee “elf” to pass out Christmas cookies to customers standing in long lines.
- Fully listen to what the customer needs. Do your best to understand how you can help them. Ask lots of questions.
- Promise your customers that their satisfaction matters to you, even if it means getting your manager to help.
- Most importantly, be there for your staff at this time of year. They need your help and support. Employees who feel supported will, in turn, want to do a good job of supporting your customers.
What kinds of things are you discussing with your staff to ensure a happy holiday season for all?
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