written by Shellie Bill
There is no way to sugar coat it…all of our lives have definitely changed. Throughout the pandemic we have all needed to find a new way to navigate most areas of our daily lives, from something just as simple as going to the grocery store to adapting to new ways of creating business.
One thing that I personally haven’t changed is the retailers that I frequent for essential needs. Although I recently moved to a different neighborhood, I still go to my old grocery store, even though this retailer has five different locations closer to my new home! Why would I choose to drive farther? I have many different reasons for spending this extra time, such as knowing the staff and location of product, plus it’s nice to get out of the house for a longer period of time for a change of scenery. It is definitely convenient to have the familiarity with the staff and the store. While there are many things that are the same, there are also many things that are different, such as wearing masks, following the “One Way” signs down the aisles and social distancing.
One additional thing that I have noticed that has changed in most of my “essential” stores is that most of the associates are not smiling like they had in the past. How do I know this? It is because they look like they are just going through the motions. They have lost the sparkle in their eyes that they once had and do not have their previous sense of urgency to get to their customers. I also hear the loss of their smiles in their voices.
I realize that six months is a long time to have our lives so radically changed and many days it is easier to just go without our smile. We may think that why does it even matter whether of not we are smiling, who will know whether it is not there when wearing a mask? Well guess what, I know, and whether or not other people directly realize this, I am sure that they have a sense that something is different, as well.
Put on Your Mask, Put on Your Smile!
My suggestion is that we use this information to bring happy back! Energy and smiles are contagious, let’s pass them on! Let’s make sure that we have the same level of happiness as we did before we had ever heard of COVID-19.
When I facilitate customer service seminars, I will usually have a section on how to get the best results when making phone calls to customers. We are great in front of our customers, but many of us have an aversion to making phone calls and this aversion can lead to a less than optimal result. My suggestion is always that before you even reach for the phone, Put on Your Smile! Your voice changes when you smile, the cadence of your words changes, your attitude changes, your energy changes, etc., which in turn, gives you a much better result. We need to use the same philosophy when navigating our work environment behind a mask. Before you put on your mask and walk out onto the sales floor, make sure that you are also wearing a smile!
I have yet to find any negatives to wearing a smile, but did you know that there are even more benefits to smiling? There are so many benefits that I could go on and on, but I have chosen my favorites to share with you.
Smiling can reduce stress! How many of us would appreciate a little less stress in our lives? Once you put on your smile, your stress level will decrease and this will help you approach any task ahead with a new attitude.
Smiling can also elevate your mood and make you feel good. There have been many scientific studies that show that something as simple as turning your frown upside down can have a positive effect on how our bodies function. Studies have shown that smiling releases natural chemicals within our bodies which can act as natural pain killers and elevate our moods.
Let’s take this a step further. Remember, smiles are contagious. If you are receiving these amazing benefits (and more) or smiling, those around you are also receiving those benefits. People are attracted to happy people and will want to spend more time around those who are happy as opposed to those who are not. This is definitely your opportunity to set yourselves apart from everyone else. Keep your work environment a stress-free zone filled with all the joyful messages that our customers wish to convey with the gift of beautiful jewelry!
There is nearly nowhere that we go that we are not given a constant reminder of the current situation that has become part of our daily lives. Let’s make sure that our stores are a safe haven away from this reality. Remember, that happiness is essential!