How do you greet your customers?

I always hating being told to smile when I answered the phone. I argued with my old sales manager and told him that was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard. I’m willing to admit it now, he was right.

Do you smile when you answer the phone or when people walk through the door?

Before you read any further, take a look at Dez’s article about welcoming the customer.

His timing couldn’t be better: not only did I eat at my favorite sushi place yesterday where I wondered what they’ve been saying to me for years, but today I had another terrible experience at a local wholesale store I frequent. I won’t go into that experience here, I’ve learned my lesson and will go to a friendlier location from now on, but it got me to thinking back to my experiences in my local dive centers.

In my new home town, I have literally waited 5 minutes before being greeted in an empty store. When I worked at AT&T, we had the 10 feet or 10 seconds rule: you greeted before they either got 10 feet into the store or had been there for 10 seconds. Even if it was just a, “Hello, be with you in just a moment”, people like to be acknowledged in a friendly way.

I have gotten into “shop talk” with local dive shop employees. When a customer comes in, I shut up so they can help the customer. More often than not, they keep talking shop and ignore the customer. Stop this!

I’m not saying your dive center should be like a Nordstroms where you are asked if you need help every 3 seconds, but acknowledge your patron. If you are a SCUBA store owner or manager, call your store to see how your employees are answering the phone.

With the global economy the way it is, we must realize we are all in a service industry and treat our potential customers accordingly.

Does your dive center have any rules regarding greeting customers on the phone or in store?

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