Possibly could be argued as the most difficult industry in the world and yet least respected both in monetary terms and appreciation. Customer service is remembered temporarily but excellent customer service or bad customer service is remembered for ever.

The variables of dealing with people are huge. Peoples expectations are huge. Why is it then that everyone thinks they can do it? I would suggest that nearly every person has undertaken a position at some stage in their careers in a customer focused role. How did you do? Did you experience that awkward person? Did you gain valuable experience of engaging with a vast diversity of persons? Did you get bored? Were you the best at what you did? Were you presentable and conscientious, even on the Saturday morning after a Friday night out ;-)

‘You cannot make a first impression twice’ – a statement I live by.

Before you open your mouth, you are being assessed at a distance. Who wishes to engage with someone who looks like their hair has been combed with a hand grenade, clothes or a uniform that have an allergy to the washing machine and iron or a subliminal stance that shouts ‘Not boverred!’ ??

Simply put, well groomed, eye contact and a beaming smile are the weapons that we in the industry know are key tools in the armoury. It screams, I am ready for you and want to help!

Remember as they walk towards you, try not to judge your client or customer or preempt their needs. Sometimes the shock on your face is not easily disguised and can offend a client whom you thought was …………

Politeness and Manners cost nothing – drummed into most children pre -1980’s whilst visiting your Nan or Grandad who may of smelt off a little bit but you weren’t allowed to mention it.

Engaging with strangers though has many potential outcomes and you should not take things personally if your good intentions are not well received. Your friendly, polite and positive approach consisting of a ‘Hello, can I help you at all?’ when met with a robust, ‘No’ is not a