I just had an interesting experience at a local, somewhat upscale, pizza place.
Went in. Ordered a pizza and coke to go. Paid. Waited. Picked up. Left.
In that roughly 15-minute interval, the young lady at the register never once made eye-contact with me.
Ø As she was processing my order, her eyes were glued to the register.
Ø When I paid, she carefully examined the top of the counter between us.
Ø When my order was ready, she ogled the pizza cooker guy.
Ø And as she slid the pizza box and coke across the counter, the best I can figure is she was checking out a spider crawling up the wall behind me.
Absolutely NO eye-contact in this entire process with the customer.
I chimed in on a blog post this morning (pre-pizza) about one of the culprits in this “failure to see eye-to-eye”…social media and mobile devices. I deal with it in the classroom…and in the “real world” as a shopper.
We/you have grown up in an online world, and apparently there’s now a fear of turning to stone if you actually set eyes on someone, like in the tales of the goddess Medusa. Seems that, if you looked directly at her, you would instantly turn into a rock. Hard way to go (snicker, snicker)!
But that’s mythology, and I’m talking about real-world customer service where people interact…where there are people who need people to help them. And part of that interaction is eye contact.
I hear time and again from colleagues in the professional world that one of their pet peeves in a job interview is the inability…or outright failure…of the interviewee to make eye contact during the interview.
Flash forward to yourself at work. How do you think the customer feels when you don’t bother to look at him or her?
I won’t ask how you would feel if that were to happen to you because I doubt that you would even notice or care…feel free to correct me if I’m wrong (sneaky way to find out who’s reading this blog!)!
So this is a short rant today on a growing problem as the younger generations morph into the workplace and, at least for brief periods of time, are detached from their computer screens or mobile devices.
Look at people when you are interacting with them…you won’t turn to stone, and you will make the other person feel appreciated…and you just might convert that person to a return customer!
How cool would that be?!?
“Keep strong, if possible. In any case, keep cool. Have unlimited patience. Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save face. Put yourself in his shoes – so as to see things through his eyes.” – Basil Henry Liddell Hart, “Deterrent or Defense , 'Advice to Statesmen'”