I have a lot of fun going into places of business and observing the behavior of the employees when they interact with customers.
You really can learn a lot by watching and listening to people as they are conducting business. For me, I am always looking for stories that possess a lesson I can learn and share.
Recently, on our trip to France my Aunt Dollie and I were in a clothing store. My Aunt was looking for some nice handkerchiefs to bring back as gifts.
A young woman, who was a clerk in the store, saw that my Aunt was looking around and approached her and asked her in French if she could help her find something (at least that is what we thought she asked).
My Aunt asked her for men’s handkerchiefs. She did not understand what my Aunt wanted, even though she was paying very close attention to what my Aunt was saying, the language barrier was difficult.
My Aunt got this brilliant idea to show the clerk what she meant, like in the game of charades. She cupped her hands and put them up to her face and made a sound like she was blowing her nose.
The clerk had a puzzled look on her face for a moment then raised her hand and ran off through a door. When she came back she handed my Aunt a tissue. She was very happy that she figured out what my Aunt wanted.
Although she was not correct, she was there, in the moment trying to help a customer in need. This young clerk had learned one of the most valuable lessons when working with people; that is being there in the moment during the encounter.
Whether you are serving customers in some capacity or working with a coworker you must be able to connect with them, “by being there” so that you can understand them and they you.
It is the personal connection that sets our interactions apart from others. We must strive to give our best, because our customers and coworker deserve it and they will be able to tell if we do not.