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Say “Hi” – Because the Little Things Count

It really is true that it’s the little things that count…like walking into a store or restaurant and being fondly greeted.

That little thing becomes even more important if you are a small business owner because you want customers to return.  Returning customers are likely your bread and butter and should be valued as such.  Besides, it is well known that people will share more negative news about your business than they will positive experiences.  So it may be of benefit to mind your manners if you want to build and maintain a good reputation.

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.” Publilius Syrus said.

Warren Buffett noted,  “It takes 20 years to build a good reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Recently I decided to stop in and browse at a local store that I frequently pass by. The store has limited hours, as well, so I was excited that I was able to catch it open. When I crossed the threshold of this store with much anticipation of seeing it for the first time, the employees (or owners) were visiting with some people who appeared to be other customers. No one acknowledged my entrance. I browsed through the entire store for at least 10 minutes. No one offered me assistance or even checked on me. No one acknowledged my existence, let alone my exit. I was left feeling like these people didn’t care to do business with me and I won’t likely return to do business with them.

Have you noticed recently that every person who enters a certain chain pharmacy store is now immediately acknowledging customers with “Hi” when they enter the store? It’s almost as if they are delighted you are there!

There’s a reason for that.

While I realize no one wants to be hovered over while they look at merchandise, or made to feel conspicuous or suspicious….courteous attention is, well… a courtesy! All your customers want and expect acknowledgment; to be seen; and yes, to be valued.  It keeps them coming back.  And for small businesses, that what counts.

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About Patricia Brown-Dixon

Patricia Brown‐Dixon was named Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region VII Office by SBA Administrator Karen Mills in January of 2011 as a Schedule C appointee of President Barack Obama. Previously Ms. Brown‐Dixon served in the federal government by helping small business owners as the Director of the Office of Business and…