I went to our local corner shop for some milk. The shop is what is known as a convenience store, but I don’t go there unless it is absolutely necessary because it is not generally a pleasant experience. Why? Because the owner-shopkeeper is such a sullen fellow.
On this occasion he ignored my “hello”, and when I took my purchase to the counter to pay he only told me how much I had to pay him, didn’t say “thank you”, looked annoyed when I asked for a receipt, and ignored my “goodbye”. I knew not to expect any conversation in between.
Going in that shop is not a pleasurable experience. How much would it cost to smile? I have never seen this guy smile in a couple of dozen visits over three or four years, but if I had seen a smile I would have been in the shop many more times; in other words if I had felt welcome. I can’t imagine I am the only person to be put off visiting the shop.
How much difference it makes to welcome a customer or client and make them feel valued. Even if we have had a rough day we should still make an effort to make our customers feel comfortable. Otherwise we won’t have so many and those we have won’t visit so often, because a bad attitude makes for a lasting impression.