Not only are the holidays full of warmth, family, celebration and good feelings, they are also stressful, frustrating and, of course, there is not enough time to do everything that needs to be done.
For those of us in service industries and retail sales, it’s time to up our customer service to mega levels as the customers we are dealing with may have less patience than usual. With the holidays comes more to do and less time to do it in, longer lines and harder times getting parking spaces. Plus trying to find that perfect gift for Uncle Fred, when the shopper has no clue what Uncle Fred would like.
Every morning before you throw open the doors to greet the customers, take two or three deep breaths and practice smiling. Warm, sincere smiles that will let your customers know that you are happy to see them and ready to help them no matter what they need. The hard part is not the first couple of hours but keeping that smile in place through the entire day, regardless of what comes your way.
The last few weeks before the holidays are a great time to offer something extra for your customers. Offer a small cookie, piece of candy, a packet of nuts or a piece of fruit, as many of your customers may not have had time to eat. Low blood sugar and hunger can make people a bit crabby. Make sure, too, that you take time to eat.
Be aware of what is going on around you, so you may offer your assistance before someone asks for it. And be ready to commiserate when a customer tells you how hard getting everything done at the holidays are. Think about how you are feeling when you are running around trying to get everything done.
In short, be your most cheerful self and let your customers know that you are there to make their lives just a little bit easier. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially when you are also trying to figure out how to get everything you have to do done.
Remember to take those deep breaths and make sure you get your breaks. Having ten minutes away from the crowds makes a big difference.
A tip of the glass from me to you!