I asked my wife how her visit to the doctor’s office was and she responded with, “He was nice.” My wife is intelligent and I know that the interaction with the doctor had more substance than whether the doctor was “nice.” However, the point is she did not evaluate her experience based on his expertise, thoroughness, diagnosis or background. This was a routine visit, so her evaluation centered on the fact that he was nice.
This can apply to your rental business because customers just might choose to do business with your company because you or another employee is nice.
So where does niceness fit into your company’s reputation and your customer’s willingness to do business with you? People will do business with those companies in which they feel comfortable. Employees that make your customers feel welcome and openly appreciate their business will more likely get and keep their business.
Here are five things that you can do to help build that nice factor throughout your organization.
- Help employees understand that niceness does matter. They do not have to be “phony nice,” but genuine. If they are in a customer-facing position, they need to possess or learn that quality.
- Start with the greeting. An upbeat, consistent greeting will get the interaction off to a good start. Again, nothing phony — be sincere and pleasant.
- Smile. A smile is a great way to welcome someone. It is an important component of body language that shows you are happy to serve them. Some people call the smile your “calling card.”
- Be personable. You do not have to be your customer’s best friend, but do try to build a relationship. Show interest in the customer’s work or event. Ask questions that will show that you care and want to help.
- Show appreciation. Before customers leave or hang up, make sure you thank them and do it sincerely. It could be a simple, “We appreciate your business” or “Thank you for the opportunity to help you.” Leave them with a positive impression of you and your company.
Barry Himmel is senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based consulting company offering sales and customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for the equipment rental industry. He can be reached at 614-766-5101 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call 800-398-0518 or visit signatureworldwide.com.