I was visiting a new client (a CPA firm). No one knew me yet. The receptionist was fine. Greeted me as one would expect. I was a little early so I expected to wait. She asked if I needed anything and made sure I was comfortable. Then she continued her work.
As I waited for about 10 minutes, I observed that the lobby served as part of the office traffic pattern as well as an open elevator bank. The seating faced the traffic flow.
As more than a dozen people went through, I smiled politely and watched each one. Here's what I took in:
- More than a dozen people passed by, in both directions, within 10 feet of me.
- Most people walked at a slow to moderate pace with the exception of one woman who bustled through.
- Most people looked down as they walked through. Not one person met my eyes or glanced in my direction...nobody said hello or otherwise acknowledged my presence.
- People passing each other did not exchange greetings or smile at each other! Nor did anyone speak to the receptionist.
- No one smiled, whistled, seemed amused, had a spring in their step, or in any way displayed that they were enjoying their day.
What are your impressions about this firm? (I know what mine were!)
Does this seem like a nice place to work? A friendly environment? Like people you want to work with?
What if I were an important prospect? How about a highly desirable job candidate? A perfect referral source?
Could this be your firm? Wouldn't you be mortified?
Do you pay attention to the experience of someone in your lobby? Do people behave the same passing by an occupied lobby as when it is empty?
When people come visit you or your business, it makes you a host. Would you walk in your front door and pass a stranger in your living room without greeting them?
5 minute marketing idea:
E-mail your entire team and remind them to go above and beyond to be friendly and outgoing when people are waiting in your lobby. Link them to this post to save some time typing...
(originally posted on Golden Practices Blog)