I’m seeing more and more signs popping up in cafes and restaurants saying; ‘we will not serve you if you are on your mobile phone’.
At first I was thinking – wow, they really are forgetting that the ‘customer is always right’. But then I thought – actually, what the management of these establishments are taking a stance for is respectful social interaction between two humans. Nice!
We have been told since Noah was a boy that we must respect our fellow people. The biblical reference is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The Hindi greeting Namaste means; “I see in you what you see in me”.
When we break down the borders of employee and customer we really are all the same. The difference is; one of us is being paid and the other is paying. Strip away the identities, the labels, the job titles and the compartmental ‘you’ that we carry around with us in society and we are equal.
Of course there is a scientific reason for all of this. Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships says; “We are wired to connect”.
Mirror neurons help us predict the behaviour of people around us by subconsciously mimicking their movements. This helps us feel as they feel, move as they move.
Learning the key skill of how to adopt to adapt in the service sector is a huge competitive advantage for businesses now and in the future.
When employees have empathy they have the ability to build rapport when interacting with a customer.
As Goleman’s research suggests, our brain copies the people around us so we feel as they feel. This in turn helps us understand them, where they are coming from and be better at predicting their reactions.
So if you are sitting there nodding your head and this makes sense to you, then why oh why do we still experience such poor customer service interactions?
Jaquie Scammell
‘Why serve when you can inspire’