The GUEST Model: Greet

November 10, 2017

Our favorite workflow acronym at The Brandt Group is GUEST. While this model has existed as a sales flowchart for quite a while now, we’ve tweaked it to amplify customer service over pure sales, which we believe will not only help win long-term loyalty from your customers, but also ensure lasting profitability.

As you’ve no doubt guessed, each letter stands for a step in the employee-customer interaction, and it makes for an easy mental checklist for your staff to follow. Over the next few weeks, we’ll cover each of these steps and how we like to measure them in our mystery shops.

To begin, the letter G stands for Greet. It’s how your staff makes their introduction to your customers, that critical first impression that will likely define the way the rest of the conversation will go. After all, a negative introduction can sour the waters, so it’s critical to get this part right.

As Dale Carnegie says in his seminal classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People, if you want to make a good first impression, smile! “Actions speak louder than words,” he writes, “and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.’” A smile sets a tone of positivity, so that even an irate customer will feel compelled to ease up a bit. This is important even on the phone. We like to say that callers can hear your smile: enthusiasm and positivity are transmitted even through a telephone conversation.

Dale Carnegie continues by explaining that psychologists have uncovered a positive side-effect to this prescriptive smiling: consciously smiling will lead to the emergence of genuine positivity on behalf of the smiler. In other words, smiling not only puts others at ease and makes them feel happier, it does the same in reverse.

But there’s more to it than just a grin: your employees should enthusiastically welcome and thank the customer for choosing your business. Additionally, they also introduce themselves to personalize—indeed, humanize—the interaction as much as possible. (Getting the customer’s name at this stage is also a big win!) Last, the employee should add that he or she is there to help. Take this example: “Hi! Welcome to Big Kahuna Burger. My name Brett. How can I help you?”

Just like how we instruct our shoppers to keep an eye (or ear) out for the smile, we also ask them to note how they were greeted. It’s that important. The Greet may be the first step in the process, but it’s as critical as the last.

Next week, we’ll discuss the second step in the GUEST process, Understand, where we’ll uncover the importance of listening and comprehension.

The Brandt Group offers Dale Carnegie classes that examine salesmanship, interpersonal skills, and more. Reach out to us today for expert training, mystery shopping, and more.

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