What is it that makes customers unhappy when they experience a service or product with a business?
How much of the ‘un happiness’ could be avoided if the staff serving them was more aware and focused on the present moment – the customer?
Imagine if your thoughts were totally transparent. If they were, would you adjust your perspective, hold back on the judging and perhaps try and see things from the other person’s point of view?
How would totally transparent thoughts impact the people who we worked with, our customers who we serve, our lovers, our family and friends?
This is so hard to consider and just quietly; a little bit frightening and yet the only reason it is so scary is because we have not been born with this superpower and so it seems completely unusual and unreal to even imagine.
If we were born with a superpower where we could read each other’s thoughts, I wonder how different the world would be today.
I can only image there would be more kindness, more understanding and therefore more empathy. But what about on the days when you or the other person is in a bad mood, you read a thought you wish you hadn’t, you learn of betrayal, regret, resentment perhaps even dislike?
It would be amazing to think about the level of emotional and social intelligence we would need to cope with this raw, honest and completely warts and all world.
I imagine resilience and patience would increase.
I imagine people’s mindfulness and emotional intelligence would be highly developed, as we would learn that when we are present and engaged we are happier and therefore less likely to think negative thoughts and offend someone unnecessarily.
Being good at customer service is being good at reading peoples emotions, the unspoken words and non-verbal cues. To do this we need to be present.
Research shows that people spend nearly 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. In other words; many of us are on autopilot.
Mindful qualitative comments help in interpersonal relationships.
In a world where there is information and data coming at us more than ever, mindfulness becomes more important for navigating the chaos – but the chaos makes it a lot harder to be mindful.
Mindfulness for Customer Connections
Recent research provides strong evidence that practicing nonjudgmental, present – moment awareness (mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment will benefit from and take advantage of.
Many of us who are with customers all day every day are particularly challenged when it comes to being mindful and staying focused.
We are expected to not only listen to the words (spoken and unspoken) that our customer is saying in order to understand them, but we are also required to fade out the words in our own head, to ensure that they don’t over take what’s happening in the here and now.
When we are consumed by our own thoughts, which at times feel like they are turned up full blast and set on repeat – we are at risk of missing not only important cues and signs from our customers, but we could not hear words and sentences all together.
The benefits of Mindfulness for our staff when interacting with Customers are:
- Reading customers emotions accurately
- Being as flexible and adaptable to their needs and problem solving
- Stay calm when stressed and under pressure to serve customers during a busy period of the day
- Have mental clarity serving customers for greater productivity and efficiency
- Put yourself in the customers shoes and apply empathy to situations for better connections
To get the full benefit of mindfulness, a daily practice of 20 to 30 minutes works best. Think of it like a mental exercise routine.
If you want to develop and strengthen your own mindfulness or know someone that could do with some help in this area; go to my facebook page and follow one of two basic mindfulness at work activities on my wall post.
Last week at a two-day workshop we started the day with a 15-minute meditation and ended the day with one. My intention for the attendees was to slow down and clear their head, ready for a day of learning, intense listening and sharing.
One of the attendees of the workshop came up to me at the end of the day and said – ‘this is like a drug, I want to do more of this’.
Give your staff an opportunity to renew their energy and get present – particularly the front line staff.
Swap their roles or stations every few hours, change up the environment with places to sit and reset or meditate during the day, encourage a brief walk around every hour, and most of all remind them to;
- Be there
- Notice things
- Ask questions that encourage mindfulness
‘Why serve when you can inspire’