Every contact a pot of gold? Go the extra (s)mile for service

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Another boat show. Do you know who your next client will be? Do you know who may refer your next client? Do you know who may give you a positive recommendation, or a negative one? Do you know who may open a door, or close one relative to business opportunities?

The point is we often think we know and yet there are many points of contact – whether three seconds, three minutes or three hours – that can mislead us. Managing those contacts as if each one could lead to the pot of gold is critical in any service situation.

Crew members may find themselves in moments of extreme exposure and long hours, working boat shows with hundreds of onlookers, gawkers and buyers.

How can anyone tell the difference and how can service levels be maintained throughout a tiring and rigorous schedule? How do crew members who face the seas for a living now take a turn and face the “sees” that come to the boat show?

Being on stage can be tough. Smiling all day and being nice to everybody can be trying to just about anybody. And, when all is said and done, does being nice really matter when so many will come and go?

Consider the following: when something good happens or when a positive interaction takes place, statistics show consumers will tell nine to 12 people. When something negative happens, consumers will tell 10 to 20 people.

The negative stories always are more colorful and get better (and more exaggerated) each time the story is told. In more than 95 percent of negative points of contact, the client does not let you know their contact with you was negative. They just walk away.

Understanding the power and impact of each interaction, even the small ones, can be motivating when your energy dips. Recognizing the power of each thoughtful gesture, even a wee smile, can rechannel fatigue and reinvigorate your spirit.

Keep the following in mind when your feet and face are ready to quit:

1. Take deep breaths frequently and drink lots of water. Appreciate bathroom breaks as moments to recharge, even for just a few moments. Look in the mirror and recognize the great job you are doing. Mirrors can give great positive feedback if you let them.

2. When working a boat show or any other major public event, you represent more than your own vessel; you represent the industry. Though many passers-by may only be passers-by, they are forming impressions and making memories. You may be one of the key ingredients to their first yacht experience. You never know when their dollars will be back.

3. Make eye contact. Be sincere. Smile from your heart, not just around your teeth. Laugh with your crew members when you can. The physical effects of laughter can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

4. Relax and have fun. Good cheer can reduce stress by expanding blood vessels and sending blood to those extremities that may be feeling a bit extreme.

Going the extra (s)mile can be good for business and for you. Make it your own experience and make it a great one.