As we slowly go back to a face-to-face world, here are a few quick reminders for what positively differentiates employees who understand the importance of body language and expressions v. those who don’t.
Especially if you’re wearing a mask and serving customers, ensure your eyes are focused on the other person as opposed to the activities and technology that surround you both. Spend one minute or two a day in front of a mirror to refresh on the kind of messages the forehead and the eyebrows convey when you’re looking at somebody. That might be all of your facial expression that the customer sees. Ensure that the smiles are visible in these other aspects of your expressions.
Maintain that 6-foot distance, but make sure you have a comfortable posture and the tension is not visible in your arms, your hands, or your shoulders. Lean in to show you’re listening, but don’t move toward the customer. Keep the comfort zone between the two of you.
Realize that it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the customer, just like at times it’s awkward and uncomfortable for you – having a mask on, keeping distance from the customer, having a plexiglass between you and the other individual. But that awkwardness and the uncomfortable nature shouldn’t come across in your body language and expressions. If anything, we need to be as proactive, gregarious, pleasant, and kind to the other person as we ever have been in order to create that rapport and establish that comfort level.
The facility itself is creating barriers to comfort, so the individual needs to go beyond what they would normally do to create that engaging encounter with the customer.
Since we’re not going to be back to normal anytime soon, be clear on those little extras we need to focus on and deliver to make sure customers are as comfortable as possible.