In front of house services we’re often asked what we think is most important in securing that exceptional guest experience. Eye contact, professionalism, smart appearance? Of course these are all undoubtedly crucial in ensuring a great guest journey; however, there is one skill that outweighs all of the rest.
It’s a skill that can essentially make or break your guest’s journey and your company’s reputation… that is a simple smile. It is, after all, the universally understood language. Everyone understands the positive message it brings without uttering a single word. So, what is it that makes a smile so important?
A genuine smile immediately bolsters body language and quickly melts away walls of defence and indifference between two people. This ‘no training required’ power tool is all too often underused and underestimated in its simplistic ability to persuade and influence others and essentially change a mediocre experience into a truly memorable one.
Here are some tips to keep the importance of a smile at the forefront of your mind:
- Who’s welcoming who? – don’t wait for your guest to lead the way – take control and be the first to smile;
- Time it right – while a cheerful smile is the perfect warm welcome, it is not appropriate to use in all situations, such as being faced with a guest complaint;
- Choose your attitude – a smile is a sign of a fantastic attitude and can influence your own mood and choices but also have a highly influential effect on others;
- Be happy and healthy! – scientific studies have shown that smiling relieves stress, boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure and releases natural feel good factors;
- Go ‘au naturel’ – a fake smile can be spotted a mile-off. If you love what you do and take pride in your work then a smile should be natural…and if you don’t love what you’re doing, then perhaps ask yourself why you are doing it?
Emma Madden is Head of Service on a national contract for Mitie Client Services