It seems like common sense that businesses should expect employees to pay great attention to greeting customers. A courteous greeting is an excellent way to make a positive first impression on a customer yet some businesses just take greeting their customers for granted and look at it more as a chore or a bother. Obviously unaware there is the risk that a customer will not make a purchase in the absence of a proper greeting.

I recently walked into a local small business restaurant with my wife and waited at the front counter for someone to greet us. The official greeter, who was behind the cash register, was helping another customer at that time. I looked over at the right side of the restaurant and couldn’t help but notice two employees sitting behind the counter, drinking a beverage and staring out the window. Certainly appeared to be bored with their job and had no intention or a sense of urgency to be a part of greeting any customers when they walked in. Perhaps -“It’s not my job responsibility. It’s the greeters job.”

What do you think our first impression was of this restaurant? Not acknowledging customers or lack of engagement in a timely manner gives the impression that you don’t value their presence or potential sale. We certainly didn’t feel valued and important. A simple acknowledgement such as “Welcome” or “Hello” from any one of these employees would have indicated that we were noticed by them. In this case, the perception was they the two employees just didn’t care. I guess the manager of this restaurant didn’t care either.

If and how you greet your customers will have an impact on how the customer feels. Making a strong first impression will help you develop customer relationships, repeat business and more sales in any business. From the moment you approach a customer, your behavior, attitude and personal presentation will influence your customer’s experience. Your customer will make early decisions about you and your business based on your appearance, your body language and mannerisms, your tone of voice and facial expressions, your words, and your demeanor. What would be your first impressions of these two individuals?

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There are many things affecting your business that you can’t control. Your personal attitude and the behavior of your employees is something you can control. Or do you just tolerate it from your employees or fellow team members? Your attitude affects the way you approach people and events in business. Setting the expectations for your staff and choosing to approach potential customers positively, confidently, enthusiastically and with a helpful attitude – even when you’re tired, stressed or frustrated – will improve the customer experience and grow your sales.

Remember that every business exists to meet customers’ wants and needs. Don’t tolerate the lack of engagement and display of non-caring from people in your business? If you are bored or unenthusiastic about the sense of urgency in greeting and interacting with your customers, I strongly suggest you choose another job. If you are a manager or supervisor and tolerate that type of behavior, I strongly suggest you choose another profession.

Common sense is not always common practice. If you want to differentiate your business from your competition, attract more customers and increase repeat sales by building customer loyalty, then your “On-Stage” presence and engagement of your people with your customers must be a priority by all. That is when the customer experience becomes “Magical”!