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It’s been said that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s a very valid statement. Impressions matter and first impressions really matter. The first few minutes of your meeting with a client is the most important because first impressions last longer. Work this impression in your favor to influence the decision of that client as regards your product or service.

As you operate your business, understand that your welcome greeting and reception, both physically and on the phone, go a very long way. Proper greetings create great first impressions and opportunities for memorable experiences for customers which will make them want to come back again.

It’s amazing how such an effortless gesture can have a tremendous impact and pay off immediately. On the flipside, it is also astounding to see how difficult it seems for businesses to consistently and appropriately implement this as part of their customer service practices. Whatever the reasons are, the fact remains that greeting customers is a MUST.

Every customer wants to feel special and this is because they are special. Thus, should be treated special. When a customer comes into your store, they will expect to be acknowledged, greeted and assisted. They will expect the best experience in every visit to your store.

Customers don’t want to feel that they are just customers and their only purpose, when they visit your store, is to purchase your product. They don’t want to feel that they are just a part of your statistics. Ineffective greetings make them feel this way.

Below are certain details that customers look out for when they are greeted.

  • First 10 seconds – Studies have shown that the first 10 seconds of a customer’s entrance into your store can be a determining factor if they will continue buying at your store or leave in the next 10 seconds. Customers want to be recognized and greeted. When customers are ignored, there’s a high chance that they will take their business to a competitor where they will be attended to immediately.

  • Eye Contact – It pays to maintain eye contact while greeting.

  • Smile – A greeting without a smile only sends a message to your clients that it’s just a necessity and not genuine.

  • Use their name – Greeting customers by name develops a more personal store-customer relationship. This doesn’t just make them feel special, but it also gives them a sense of “belonging”. Your customers will feel that you care enough and value them to know something about them.

  • Personalize – Don’t use the same generic greeting for each customer.

  • Introduce yourself – It never hurts to introduce yourself to new customers even if you wear name tags. This makes the conversation more personal.

  • Be genuine and sincere – This is what makes a greeting warm and heartfelt. Just like fake smiles and greetings, customers can also feel if you are genuine and sincere with your greeting.

When customers sense your store has a friendly environment that makes them feel valued and important, expect them to always come back to your store.

Aloha in Hawaii means affection, peace, compassion, mercy and love. When you greet customers, friends and family – make sure you communicate your own version of Aloha! Express affection, peace, compassion, mercy, love and the fact that ‘they matter.’

Your greetings matter because people matter!

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