One of the services that we offer to our tourism and front of house clients is a spot of mystery shopping! We aren’t interested in whether the signage works or the shop is well stocked. We are only interested in how the staff make us feel as visitors.
In it’s simplest terms we’re looking for the nuggets of gold that only another human being can use to make you feel special.
In a museum it could be you telling me about something I’m looking at without me having to ask. Or if could be not interrupting me as I become engrossed in a painting … only by looking at my body language will you know what I really want.
In a shop it might be asking me if I need a basket or how my trip has been or just showing an interest in me and what I am looking at.
Over the years we have learnt that there are invariably three things that customer facing staff do that make us feel good about ourselves and their business.
First – they smile and greet us! It sounds so simple … and yet it doesn’t always happen! Usually (but not always) we get a reasonable welcome from the person on the front desk or who knows it’s their job to greet us. But often once you move through the store or the attraction the smiles and acknowledgement becomes much less frequent!
Secondly – they ask us questions. This might be asking how we are or what we have enjoyed or what we are interested in or what the weather is like … or, or, or …! It doesn’t matter what your role but with a bit of effort you can think of some generic questions to ask at any point that will make the other person feel you are interested in them. The question isn’t the important thing … it’s your level of interest in the answer!
And thirdly – they do or say something to make us feel special. And that is often based on their ability to listen to our answer to the questions they asked. For example, if I tell you the part of the tour I like best and you then give me an extra piece of information I might not know .. you’ll make my day. If you just say … “Yes I like that bit too” (an actual response I got a few weeks back) I’m not going to feel special at all.
Whether I’m a customer at a tourist attraction or walking through a high street store, in an office reception or a hotel lobby, whatever your role, you can make my day. It’s not hard or expensive but it does take some thought and effort.