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May 2020
11 Min read
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A Man Without a Smiling Face
Must Not Open a Shop

Natali

Journalist, PR-manager, content creator

A Man Without a Smiling Face
Must Not Open a Shop
11 votes

This Chinese proverb reminds us of the basics of customer service. Positive customer experience is impossible without friendly and responsible staff. Especially, at a time when quarantine is getting easier all over the world, and this cannot but bring joy.

After all, the peak of a pandemic is over, shopping malls are opening, beauty salons are ready to welcome their visitors, government agencies are resuming their work, and we are gradually returning to the regular patterns.

Of course, this does not mean that we have defeated the virus, but we certainly helped to stop its spread. We remembered the need for hygienic procedures, started taking more care of older people, realized the value and importance of our work, and especially valued the job of medical workers, educators, and volunteers — all those people whose task was to take a hit for which the world was not ready. 

Quarantine mood be like

We’ve changed the way we used to live. We remembered that the family was really the most valuable thing. And we’ve never spent so much time with the loved ones. There were fewer walks, traveling and weekend plans were frustrated, but our people will always find a way out. We really appreciated the attraction of online communication (praise Skype, Zoom, etc.), missed our colleagues (even from the accounting department), appreciated savings on travel and lunch costs in the cafeteria, and had a taste of being freelancers.

We also read a lot of books which were put off for later, watched all the TV serials in original languages, signed up for all online marathons, and did the splits (or not). But even if none of the above describes your self-isolation, you as well as we will not look at the world as before.

Quarantine hit the world’s economy and accelerated the impending crisis. It is an event that has not only taken away the charms of ordinary life but also became tragic for many people. We do not want to escalate the situation, we just want everyone to remember basic security measures despite all the concessions. And we also want to remind everyone of the important criteria that should be followed by all employees in sales and service companies who are resuming their work.  

2019 wasn’t a bad guy

In such a period, it’s important to remember that every crisis is followed by revival (just like we are now in urban parks and public gardens). In order to remind everyone of the need to build positive customer experience, Scheduling shares the results of a global study with an inspirational title “Smiling Report” by the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA) we are a member of.  Let’s take a look back in 2019 and recall that it was not such a bad year.

 For the 16th Smiling Report, MSPA has collected nearly five million mystery shopper responses from 68 countries. The main criteria the organization was focused on were smiling, friendliness of the sales staff as well as their desire to sell additional goods and services.

As a result of a global study, the following data were obtained:

  • 81% of mystery shoppers were lucky enough to communicate with smiling sellers;
  • with 75% of customers, the staff was friendly at the sales and service store units;
  • 68% of buyers got an offer to purchase additional goods and services. 

This data is slightly in contrast to the previous survey (2018):

  • a greeting index showed a decrease (-7%);
  • a smile rate showed a slight increase (+1%);
  • the additional sales indicator is traditionally performed worse than the above parameters, but this time it showed a significant positive tone (+19%).

Smile as a Style

Who do you think ranked the first place among the most smiling employees of trading and service companies? Who offered their visitors not only quality service but also a bottle of healing mineral water? This is Georgia. Not the one that is in the States, but the one that is in the mountains. It was its representatives who delighted the visitors with their smile. 

  1. This is the first time Georgia took first place. Employees of enterprises in Georgia give a smile to 99% of visitors.
  2. With the result of 94%, Canada, Moldova, Poland, and Spain took second place. 
  3. They are followed by Portugal with 92%.
  4. The lowest smiling rates were demonstrated in Serbia (51%), Macau (54%), and Hong Kong (60%).

Smiling Report per Country

As compared to the previous year, the largest increase was observed in Russia with 84% (+25%), while the largest decrease was observed in Serbia with 75%.

The leaders in terms of smiles were the automotive industry workers. Here, mystery shoppers were met with a smile in 90% of cases. And the most, not smiling employees were transporting industry workers with the result of 48% (-5%). The largest decline was observed in the hospitality sector — 78% (-11%).

In terms of continent results, North America is leading with 92% of points as it was a year ago. South America has the lowest score of 77%. The Asia Pacific region showed the highest growth in smiles — 79% (+27%).

Hello| hi | good morning| what’s cooking | what’s up?

These phrases are standard and frequently used, so we sometimes forget about their importance. A here we should remember that your greeting can cheer up someone, make him happy or come back to the real world from his inner one, especially in such a “dark time”. Adding a smile, this “standard procedure of politeness” will demonstrate a person that he is important! Yes, important — after all, this is what a customer is thinking when a consultant says hello, smiles, and asks about his business. All these trumps are used by the staff of trade and service institutions in European countries.

  1. The most welcoming country in 2019 was the oldest country in Europe — Portugal, with a result of 98%. 
  2. It is followed by Austria, Azerbaijan, and Switzerland with a result of 96%. 
  3. The worst results were shown in Peru (57%), Macau, and Luxembourg (58% each).

Greeting Rate per Country

The highest growth rates were recorded in Switzerland — 96% (+43%), Colombia — 76% (+25%), and Germany — 88% (+22%). Lithuania (-9%), the USA (-86%) and Belgium (-7%) demonstrated the largest decline.

Among the continents, North America is the leader in terms of greeting with a result of 87%. For the first time, the worst indicator is in Europe — 73%. The Asia-Pacific region has increased its rate to 80% (+14% compared to 2018).

Employees of government agencies and the transport industry were greeting their colleagues from other market sectors more often — 92%, with the transport sector showing the highest growth rate compared to last year’s data (+36%). Retail trade showed the lowest result among all industries — 70% (-12%).

As a Special Treat — Additional Sales

“Would you like some fries? Sauce?” – every fast food visitor has ever heard that phrase at least once. This is a classic example of additional sales. Many people who hear the word “upsell” have a reaction far from positive. However, additional sales do not necessarily have to be associated with pressure on users. In addition to direct benefit, they demonstrate (or at least should demonstrate) care for the client’s full comfort. 

In 2019, the offer of additional products and services has reached the highest result for the entire period of research conducted by MSPA. 

  1. The leader in the rating aimed at additional sales was Spain with a result of 79%.
  2. It is followed by Australia with its objective of cross-sales — 76%. 
  3. Then, Puerto Rico and Russia — 73%, and Portugal with 72%.
  4. Cyprus (19%), Greece (28%), Mexico, and Panama (30%) had the lowest rates.

Add-on Sales Rate per Country

The highest growth results were shown by Great Britain 61% (+21%), Peru 42% (+20%) and Belgium 40% (+13%). The largest decline was observed in the USA — 56% (-22%), Czech Republic — 36% (-22%), and Slovenia — 40% (-20%).

Sellers from European countries are focused on sales most of all — 69%, and least — from South America, 54%. North America showed a decrease in additional sales to 55% (-16% compared to 2018).

Most often, additional services and goods were offered by financial industry employees — 75%. The lowest result was recorded in the public services sector — 57%, but there is an increase of +48% compared to 2018. None of the considered industries showed a decrease in sales compared to the previous year.

Historically, Add-on Sales Data has always had a lower score than Smile and Greeting (52% on average), but in 2019 the rate increased from 49% to 68% (+19). This is great news for everyone who provides Mystery Shopping service and those who use it, as cross-sales can not only recover expenses for the program but also increase the company’s profitability.

Isn’t it a good reason to smile? Smile more often, read-only good news, and take care of yourself!

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