Serving Customers a Side of Personality

“Hello! Welcome to Kroger!” I hear someone shout as I walk across the parking lot. Slightly taken aback, I look around to see where the voice came from. A few cars away, I see Steve smiling at me as he catches a stray cart. While most people his age dread the thought of work, Steve seems to always make the most of it. Every time I go to buy groceries, he is there working hard. Yet no matter what he is doing, he is never too busy to stop and greet a customer. He always makes time to thank people for shopping at Kroger and wish them a great day. It is as though Steve has taken it upon himself to become the goodwill ambassador of his store. In fact, to many who shop there, he is the store. He had made himself more well-known to the customers than the manager. His impact on customers creates more customer loyalty than the perks of a discount key tag or even a million dollar advertising budget. The reason why Steve’s attitude is so powerful is because it is genuine. His words come straight from the heart. When Steve asks if I need help, I know he actually wants to help me.

When he thanks me for shopping at his store, I know he means it. Because he’s genuine, his words and actions carry more weight and have a greater impact on those he encounters. No matter what job you have or what business you’re in, you have something to learn from Steve: the single most important asset in your company is the customer. Steve has made that center of what he does. Right now, you may be so busy creating a method on paper to make your customers like you that you are missing the opportunity to make it happen. Stop worrying so much about finding new customers, overcoming price objections and explaining the advantages you have over the competition. Spend less time in your office meetings and more time with your customers. Greet them, ask how they are doing, thank them for their business, and mean every word of it. Turn your genuine love for your customers into a daily practice like Steve does. Unfortunately, there are many Steve wannabes. These are the people who nonchalantly ask if they can help you find something, yet they continue to walk by as if they never even intended to stop. Their actions are so disingenuous that if you did have something to ask them, you would actually feel guilty doing it. People like this hate their job and it shows. They may go through the motions of attending to their customers, but their heart is not in it. They miss out on the chance to improve their happiness and success.

If they made the most of the job they had, they could enjoy going to work, be a star employee, and have great references to land a job that’s easier for them to love. All of us in business have the choice of whether or not to love our jobs. That’s right, it is our choice. Steve’s positive attitudes and actions are a direct result from his choice to love his job. It may not be fun to push shopping carts through blizzard-like conditions, but he manages to do it with a smile. Despite your personal circumstances, you can make the decision to love what you do. Choose to love your job by making it your own, doing it to the best of your ability and taking pride in your work, regardless of what that work is. Positive attitudes are powerful and contagious. They show through everything you do and spread to everyone you meet. When you love your customers and your job, it’s impossible to hide. Just ask Steve.

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