Is Your Business as Welcoming as it Could Be?

Today is official Dance Like a Chicken Day. But if that doesn’t get you clucking, maybe the fact that it’s also Receptionist Day will get a better reception in your office.  In addition to thanking your receptionists for all the great work they do, it’s also a good day to take stock of how welcoming your business is at every point of contact and how a bit of humor might help.  

– Start with your website. Does your website invite people to linger and stick around for a while? Is the language welcoming and conversational, or is it full of deja moo (“the feeling we’ve heard this bull before”)?  How about a fun welcome IMG_0012video from employees that invites people to pull up a seat and stick around for a while?

– Are people feeling welcomed when they phone your office or are they sucked into a vortex of frustrating computerized options that make them feel like they’re in a scene from The Matrix?  Zappos, unlike most call centers, measures the quality of their customer service calls, not the quantity, so customers never feel rushed off the phone. Shutterfly, the online photo sharing site, offers a “pirate version” of all their voice mail options. Adding a bit of humor and building relationships the way Zappos does, is what being receptive is all about.

– Is your parking lot welcoming? One business has parking lot signs that say things such as, “Reserved for Customer of the Century,” and, just to be silly, “Reserved for Anyone Named Dave.”

– Are your front doors open five minutes before the official opening time so it doesn’t look like employees are watching every nanosecond on the clock?

– The Winnipeg Airport has a Hug Rug at the base of the arrivals escalators. The airport in Nice, France has a Kiss N’ Fly drop off lane. Can you ad a funny sign, or offer a funny sentiment for people arriving at your workplace? (Hey, even the IRS has one office with a welcome sign on their door reading: “Sorry We’re Open!”)

– Is your reception area truly welcoming? Does it have something to occupy the kids? Or the dogs? How about some fun reading material, a funny welcome mascot, a humor bulletin board or a popcorn machine?

– Finally, have your employees been given the proper training and tools to fulfill their potential role as “Director of First Impressions?”  Because as we all know, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Michael Kerr is a very funny motivational speaker and international business speaker who speaks on creating inspiring workplace cultures.  His next book is called The Humor Advantage: Why Some Business are Laughing all the Way to the Bank.

 

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