Getting customer hospitality right, both in person and online

By Henry Brown

When over 80% of customers say they stop doing business with a brand due to a bad customer service experience, it’s time to take action. Welcoming people to your company, whether online or in person, should be an instant reaction. After all, it’s vital to make them feel at home so they invest in the business and make a conversion. Unfortunately, when 40% of a survey by Genesys said “better human service” mattered to them the most, companies aren’t doing all they can.

To make sure you and your employees are doing a great job in welcoming customers, here are the simple and effective methods you can use to impress customers.


People notice a smile. More importantly, they notice it when it isn’t there because that’s off-putting. Not smiling is almost as if you don’t value their custom and don’t want them in the store. Smiling is a basic action, yet it’s very disarming and puts people at ease. The alternative is to start a passive-aggressive battle that makes them resent the brand. Also, don’t forget the impact of smiling over the phone. Even though they can’t see you, the positive energy in your voice and tone from the smile is obvious and it’s infectious.

Give them a concrete action

Something that isn’t welcoming is leaving your customers hanging when they need you the most. Customer service is difficult because you can’t be there all the time, yet you can provide some level of accountability such as a voicemail service. The best small business voicemail greeting examples encourage people to leave a message so they don’t feel ignored. And, if you pair the above with a quick call-back service, they won’t have any reason to think you’re dodging their questions. Of course, an email address or your social media accounts never go amiss either.

Take an interest

When you do interact, in person or remotely, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd. Any salesperson can churn out generic phrases, but only the people who take an interest know the intimate details. Often, it’s as simple as knowing their first name or the names of their partner and children. Once you drop them, they’ll instantly give you credit for remembering and assume you take an interest in every customer. It’s an impressive quality and one they’ll speak about with their friends. A good memory gives you a distinct advantage over the rest of the competition.

Train everybody

You’re the face of the company as the boss and leader, but yours isn’t the only impression to stick. Anyone customers come into contact with will have an impact, which is why it’s essential to train your employees how to interact. Start by getting them to smile and acknowledge the person has entered the room – there’s nothing worse than ignoring the presence of a customer. Also, make them understand the importance of being breezy and witty – nobody wants to take part in an awkward conversation. Finally, use a dress code to make guests feel as if your space is dressed up for their benefit.

How do you welcome your customers to your brand?


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.


Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover