How far can a smile travel? In 1990, the first American customer service driven smile traveled almost 5000 miles, took root, and stayed. With the opening of the first McDonald’s in Moscow, standard corporate training on how employees can create a successful customer experience was first introduced. Step one? Smile. Where being stoic had been the customer service norm, this newfangled, unprecedented training gave Russian employees and customers an emotional culture never before seen. In the politically tumultuous nineties, the McDonald’s in Moscow became an “island of light and humanity in a dark time.”
People perceive a genuine smile as a window into a person's disposition. A smile, or absence thereof, is the first indication a customer receives as to the quality of the service they are about to receive. Non-verbal communication is pivotal in delivering excellent guest experiences. The untapped power of smiling combined with effective customer service training packs an impressive one-two punch in fostering and delivering an exceptional service culture within organizations.
The Smiling Report (http://www.smilingreport.com/) compiled by Better Business World Wide, gathers data from mystery shopping providers in 61 countries who take note of smiles, greetings and add-on sale interactions during their research. In 2015, America finished 13th in “top smiling countries” during customer experiences, and Russia, who had first encountered the “customer service smile” just 26 years ago, finished 15th. Now THAT’S something to smile about!
Exceptional customer experiences are never accidents. A healthy and happy service culture is essential to any organization's success. Like McDonald’s, creating a positive, engaging employee experience that produces an outstanding customer experience is CSE’s goal as well.
We at Customer Service Experts also agree with Forbes, and use the untapped power of the smile to ignite successful customer experiences for every one of our clients.
And the best thing about smiling? It’s not industry specific and everyone can do it! It’s accepted and welcomed globally. So why don’t you try it today? Go ahead . . . smile . . . and unleash the power we all carry within ourselves to make every connection count.