The ROI of Smiling

“Good morning, welcome to Unconference!” I said with a smile as hundreds of entrepeneurs, CEOs and students alike trickled into MassTLC’s signature event of the season. 

As a volunteer at the event with Ryan Durkin, my assignment was easy: stand at the entryway and greet everyone that comes in with a smile while directing them into the check-in room. I jokingly thought to myself, “So this is what it is like to be a Walmart Greeter.” But what I quickly discovered is how much of an impact a simple welcome and smile from stranger to stranger is.

If you are in a bad mood, and a stranger is nice to you, you instinctively respond in a nice way back. If you get smiled at, you smile in return and start to feel happier. If someone was coming into that conference after a lousy bus ride or not enough coffee in the morning, my quick smile ensured that they walked in feeling better.

This has important implications for customer service – when one of your customers (sometimes a stranger to you) seems to be on the warpath, ready to scream at anyone from your business, the best way to respond is with shocking kindness and a smile. A straight forward response back that is apologetic, includes action and demonstrates genuine kindness and respect throws anyone on the warpath immediately off. 

Bottom line advice:

  • Smile at everyone
  • Say please and thank you
  • Throw off someone’s anger with genuine kindness

So remember, whether it is at an event or in your office, play the role of a Greeter and keep everyone happy.

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