Your customers matter to you and one way a customer will get an impression of your business is through your customer service. In brick and mortar stores, body language and verbal communications are two of the most important tools your employees have. But did you know that body language may have a bigger influence over what they say. A communications theory published in the 1960s by UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian showed that participants were better at interpreting messages when they were accompanied by physical indications and verbal tones as opposed to neutral body language.
In this article, we will show you five tips to change your body language for the better when dealing with customers.
Eyes are the window to the soul
Eye contact is obvious in many important situations. You are supposed to maintain eye contact in situations such as job interviews as in the western world it is a sign of respect. The contact with the customer allows them to know that you are listening and paying attention to what they are saying, whilst trying to concentrate on analysing their situation. You can also tell how a customer feels by looking at their eyes. If their pupils are dilated then you have their attention, but if they keep getting distracted looking around then you probably don’t and you need to regain their attention somehow.
Stop unnecessary movements
Fidgeting or making unnecessary movements can be distracting and divert attention from the situation in hand. The alternative is they may just think you are uninterested in the conversation they are trying to have with you, and you don’t care about the problem you have. But you don’t just have to stand still. Moving your hands when you are talking can show you are making a point or that you are enthusiastic. Just don’t be too excessive with your movements.
Keep an open stance when facing customers. Do this not just in customer service, but any customer-facing job. The smallest detail can make you look more approachable. Make sure your name badge is visible so it’s not hidden and they can call you by your name. Remaining facing the customer rather than turning away can also make a big difference in showing that you are engaged in the situation. Avoid crossing your arms at all costs, as this can make you seem unapproachable. You don’t want to look like a bouncer standing at the door of a nightclub!
Smile even if the customer can’t see you. You might be talking over the phone or behind a chat thread but smiling can determine your tone of voice and the language you use when answering. Studies on smiling have been studied and proven to have had a positive effect on people; a genuine smile makes you seem more approachable and positive about the situation. However, don’t force your smile as people will notice. Customers will be drawn to you if they can see a genuine smile.
Your voice is powerful
Just the way your voice sounds, rather than what you are saying, can change the way a person feels towards the situation. The wrong tone of voice when speaking can sometimes stir feelings of doubt, irritation, and anger. Use your tone to express warmth, passion, and humour, and when a customer is upset or angry, use a soft and empathetic tone. Your voice is your most powerful communication tool. If the customers like your voice and how it sounds, they will form an impression that you are confident and knowledgeable in your job.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips on how to better your body language in customer services. It will make a big difference as people can pick up on the smallest changes without noticing, and this can affect how they feel, especially if it’s an emotional situation.