If the next person who calls your work phone or who comes to the counter or sends you an email asking for assistance turns out to be a close friend, you’d be anxious to help. If you could make things easier for them, you would. If you couldn’t help in the way they wanted, you’d try to find an option.
That concept is the idea behind the Shane Company’s slogan, “Now you have a friend in the diamond business.” It proved to be so catchy that many other businesses have adapted it. It also would be a great way for us to advertise ourselves and to keep as our approach when we communicate with internal and external customers and clients.
That slogan popped into my head last week when I was talking to a receptionist I have dealt with many times and who has always been unsmiling and flatly monotone to the point of sounding unwelcoming. On my last visit to that office she was looking up my information on her computer and had not smiled, responded to my smile or acted approachable to me or any other client. Suddenly she looked up and gave me blinding smile that transformed her face and I thought, “Wow, that’s more like it!”
That’s when I realized one of her coworkers had walked up behind me. The smile was for her friend, not for me as a client. As I walked away while she was talking in an animated and warm way to her friend, I thought of how different she sounded and how much better she would represent her organization if she showed just half that caring to customers and clients. Even more importantly, I thought about how nice it would be to feel that instead of being greeted by an automaton I was greeted at the front desk by a friend.
Try taking that approach at work and see how differently you treat people and how differently they respond. Notice how much you want to put them at ease and assure them that they will be helped; how anxious you are to do their projects correctly; how you give them the benefit of the doubt if they are a bit difficult to deal with; how you make everything as easy for them as possible. Projecting the spirit of a friend who wants to help has a tremendous impact on others and gets much more positive results.
Treat customers or clients as if they have a friend in your business–you!