Ruby Newell-Legner - 7 Star Service
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How Approachable Are You?

approchable, friendly, customer serviceIf you’re in the customer service business — whether at a retail store or a professional football stadium — you can help put customers or fans at ease simply by looking confident and ready to help. Even if they don’t need you, they know you’re there. Just in case.

Do you look interested and ready to engage? Do you give the impression that you like your job? Does your appearance exude confidence? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” here are eight ways to improve your approachability and ensure a seven-star service experience for your customers and fans.

1. Smile longer than is comfortable. This is the most effective non-verbal signal that you are friendly. Make it a warm and inviting smile. Look like you’re having a good time.

2. Display open body language. Your posture reveals your level of confidence. Folded arms act as a barrier between you and the world. If the only reason you’re crossing your arms is because you are cold, well — that is exactly how others will feel toward you.

3. Check the alignment of your body. If you are standing with most of the weight on one foot, you look tired or bored. So stand firmly on both feet. And don’t forget to align your shoulders with the person you are speaking with to show you’re focused on him or her.

4. Abide by the 10-5 rule. If a guest or customer is approaching you, and you happen to be talking with a coworker — stop your conversation before that person gets within 10 feet of you, and then smile. And be sure to greet him or her by the time the individual gets within five feet of you.

5. Eliminate self-comfort gestures. Nervousness manifests itself in body language in many ways. Foot tapping, playing with a pen or pencil, and fiddling with the change in your pockets gives the impression you are impatient or bored.

6. Offer a pleasant facial expression. Stop rolling your eyes, no matter how silly the request may be. And Freud said that touching your face reveals hints of dishonesty — that’s why so many people do it when they’re uncomfortable. Just leave your face alone and keep your eyes where they belong.

7. Make sure people can see your mouth when you speak. Face the person you are talking to, and don’t let anything come between your mouth and his or her eyes. People want to “see” what you’re saying.

8. Connect without staring. Avoid staring into space or at the ground. That sends the message that you aren’t paying attention. 
There’s nothing wrong with eye contact. After all, that leads to a smile. And that makes you approachable.

(Photo by iStock)

About Ruby Newell-Legner

As a Fan Experience Expert, Ruby helps leaders in sports, leisure and entertainment build strong teams between front line staff and management, and make exceptional customer service a way of life. She has consulted with and designed customized training programs for more than 60 sports and entertainment venues, 80 leisure facilities and 29 professional sports teams. From the only 7 Star Hotel in the world to Convention Centers, from Denver to Dubai, Ruby brings unprecedented expertise and insight on how to create a service culture that motivates employees and promotes customer loyalty and retention.

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