I have written before about the difference friendly staff make to the service experience. I am writing this from my local auto dealer to share just how it changes things.
My satisfaction level has never been more than a 7 or 8 on the follow-up surveys from the dealership. I could never put my finger on exactly why until today. When I arrived for the appointment there was a whole new vibe at the dealership. People were smiling. My service writer greeted me by shaking my hand. He actually seemed glad I was there, something that was not true in previous experiences. I was working on my laptop and the battery was getting weaker so I started looking for an outlet. One of the parts counter people came over and showed me an area to work that was quiet and had a nearby electrical outlet.
Does a smile really matter that much? The restaurant industry has known that for quite a while. A server who smiles, introduces himself or herself, and, in general, demonstrates and interest in the customers’ satisfaction earn higher tips (http://andrewvs.blogs.com/files/seven-ways-to-increase-servers-tips.pdf). While I will not be tipping my service writer I will be rating my experience much higher simply because I was made to feel welcome. See, a smile really does matter!