In part 1 of this series, I explained how being the Director of First Impressions carries a lot of responsibility. It’s more than simply answering phones, greeting guests and assisting our administration department. My role is client service. Here are some more of my client service tips for the craft of “Impression-Making.”
Smile, Even if You Don’t Feel Like It
We're all busy. We're all stressed. For some of us, it hits full-speed before you leave your house. On a given day, I'm running on a few hours of sleep, likely have spit-up on me from my 6-month-old baby, managing the epic drama of a 6-year-old girl and chipping away at a mile-long to-do list - all before 8:00 AM.
Take a second. Breathe. Smile. Your professionalism keeps your personal life craziness in check. When I smile and step into a happy demeanor, even if it is forced, I begin to truly thrive in my role. Often times, your attitude towards stress, tiredness, etc. is the only thing you can control. The best way that I can be a good steward of my position is to maintain a positive outlook in all of my tasks. You'll be surprised how something simple, like smiling, can not only change your perspective, but influence others' as well.
Empathize and Don’t Take Everything to Heart
Like me, many of my co-owners, as well as our numerous clients, have multiple responsibilities to family and work that may cause them to be stressed. The reality is that despite my best efforts, or the efforts of others, an interaction might miss the mark. Mistakes will be made. Communication errors do happen. People may ask for things in a demanding, rude manner. You may respond the wrong way. That is the human side of business. When these situations arise, I have found that it takes more than just apologizing and fixing the problem. It takes an attitude of empathy and the ability to brush things off.
Realizing my Luckett & Farley co-owners and our clients are real people with hectic lives, adoring families and work demands allows me to have compassion for others when I'm treated rudely or when communications go a-miss. In those moments, I take a step back and realize it's nothing personal. When you internalize things, frustration only builds and eventually surfaces, sometimes in ugly ways. It's not easy when you're a people-pleaser and you take your job seriously.
Give it a Try
Practice some of my advice and see how it works for you. It won't always be easy, but it will be incredibly helpful to you and noticed in each interaction.
Representing Luckett & Farley in all that I do doesn’t just happen on its own. Although I am a natural with people, being successful in my role doesn’t just happen naturally. It requires a consistent, deliberate mindset of serving others. It takes a willingness to learn and a patience to grow. As I continue to develop with Luckett & Farley, I am challenged to cultivate a better first impression every time.