What is your most important marketing? Social Media? TV? Radio? Sorry… the answer is your front line employees, the ones that interact with your customers everyday. That is where your brand image starts and if that is not a good customer experience, no amount of advertising can change that. Too many times a business doesn’t realize that how your front line employees act, speak and react to different customer situations can have a major impact on your bottom line.

The One Word You Should Never Say

Whether you both realize it or not, you and your front line employees depend upon the image you project to your customers – whether in person or on the phone. Being courteous and helpful will go a long way to making and keeping a customer and a sale. And when faced with a difficult situation or request, the one word you should never say is ‘No”.

For example, we went out to lunch with friends recently and when asked what he would like to drink, my friend said ‘Pepsi’. Now they did not have Pepsi, only Coke – but instead of saying ‘No’, the server went to the manager who then sent someone out to a convenience store and brought back an ice cold Pepsi. The result was a happy customer who had a great story to tell instead of an unhappy one who would likely never return and advise others the same.

Gratitude is the Attitude

Your customers are your lifeline. If you don’t show them that you appreciate and value them, you won’t be in business very long. And front line employees who act like the customer is an inconvenience shouldn’t be working for you. As a consumer, I always try to call a retail employee by their name (if I can see it on the nametag) or just ask their name. I find when I make a real connection with them, I get better service. And it works in reverse as well… starting off with “Hi, I’m Sasha, how can I help you today?” is a lot better than acting like I’m bothering you and you won’t look up from your phone.