She Left Her Smile at Home

My husband is locked away in the home office a lot lately.  He is working towards completing his accounting designation and that means spending a whole lot of time on assignments, group work, etc. when he gets home from full day of work.  That also means that this long weekend, we stuck close to home and grabbed a few hours here and there, in between his course work, to be a hometown tourist.

We rediscovered some beautiful gems here in Winnipeg; the types of places that are included on the “must-do” list when visiting other cities,(here is Winnipeg’s “must-do” list) but forgotten about when in our own backyard.  By far, the majority of people we met lived up to the “Friendly Manitoba” slogan on our licence plates. Perhaps that is why the following not-so-friendly lady stood out.

We were at one of the many shops at The Forks market.  It sold all the typical souvenir items:  postcards, T-shirts, key chains, etc.  A shopper selected four or five postcards and went to the till.  Based on the purchase of postcards, it’s pretty safe to assume this shopper was a visitor to Winnipeg. She’s visiting our home.  She’s spending her hard earned dollars in our stores, restaurants, attractions and hotels.

The lady working that day definitely did not bring her A-game to work.   She did not smile. She did not look up, into her customer’s eyes, once.  There was absolutely no dialogue between the two other than the final purchase price stated and acknowledged.    Her customer was not made to feel welcome.  What a difference it would have made if she had smiled directly at the customer and perhaps asked her a few questions about her visit to Winnipeg.

And that is exactly what we saw at another shop that sold really yummy-looking cannelloni.  Smiles, eye contact and interaction between the staff and their customers, including us.  I’m happy to report the yummy-looking cannelloni turned out to be just as yummy as they looked.

Giving away smiles costs nothing.  Asking questions, making your customers feel like, for at least they moment, they are the most important person you meet, costs nothing.

And of course, in the end, it doesn’t matter if your customer is from out of town or lives just down the street. Each and every customer made the choice to spend their money at your business.  The least you can do is thank them for that choice with a friendly smile.

2 thoughts on “She Left Her Smile at Home

  1. Hi Laurie, I understand your weekend completely. Since my husband is a physician many weekends are spent catching up in paperwork. We too have learned to enjoy the pleasures of our home town. And as far as giving away smiles…any business should have competitions between employees to see who can give away the most 🙂

    • Thanks Tina. Being a hometown tourist is a wonderful way to really get to know the community we live in. I love your idea about competing on smiles instead of how many specials or widgets were sold, because in the end, the number of specials or widgets sold depends, in large part on the number of smiles given away!

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