I do this very often in Chicago too. More surprising than the fact that nobody else in line seems to do the same, is the fact that employees are always surprised as well. Often times they accidentally interrupt saying “how can I help you” before I can even finish. And sometimes they don’t know how to respond at all.
I propose the idea that each of us should do more of this everyday. Put more value on the human connection. And make people we transact with feel important.
But today’s world makes this more challenging. In today’s technology driven economy, profit margins are lower and stores need more customers to than ever to make money. So often times companies prize efficiency over good customer interactions. Likewise, customers today are in a hurry and more demanding than ever. So customers equally forget about the value of spending 20 seconds to speak to someone else.
But that’s just the problem. That’s why customers aren’t loyal. It’s why they don’t go back to your store again. It’s why they won’t go out of their way to support your idea or invest in your business. It’s also why employees can sometimes have really bad days at work. And why demanding customers will rarely get their way.
I propose the idea that both parties should put more value on the human connection. Companies need to balance the importance of efficiency with the value of human contact. Customers should more time being nice to the people we interact with.
In the end, the interaction will be significantly better for both sides. Employees will be more willing to help you out. And you might just make the employee’s day. All by Saying Hello.