This examiner’s articles have offered subscribers an insight into the many issues of customer service excellence and its immediate impact on business success. You have, therefore, been inundated with ideas on: How to speak, how to improve your telephone skills and techniques, how to listen effectively, and the importance of choosing words carefully. We have dealt also with writing effective email messages, and even about using positive body language both while on and off the telephone. These articles offer you opportunities to practice these skills, with an aim to great customer satisfaction and keeping customers loyal to the companies in which you are employed. They also help to enhance your personal encounters.
Let us now examine yet another issue that has as riveting an impact on your work environment, on your customers, with its ability to propel business to its highest level, even as much as those already named. It also has a direct impact on you, personally. And that is—you’ve guessed it—Your Personal Appearance and that of your Work Environment.
Question: What happens when a customer first enters your place of employment?
Answer: They take a mental picture of you and your work environment.
Question: And what is the result of that observation?
Answer: An immediate impression of you and your company is formed: That first impression.
Do believe it! Those first impressions can make or break a business relationship. Were you dressed professionally during that encounter? Regardless of the industry within which one operates, there should always be a level of professionalism in one’s appearance.
Ariana b. Bianchi says it well in a section of her article, First Impressions: What does your workplace say about you? She deals with ‘Dress Code and Personal Appearance’, insisting that although every company is different, employees should be aware that they are representing their companies at all times (when they are at work.) and that there should be standards. Again, because of these inherent differences, companies should each create and enforce a policy that outlines an appropriate standard of d grooming—from which there should be no digression. But should be followed by employees—always with the customer and the company’s reputation in mind.
Good grooming is an important aspect of the professional appearance. Grooming includes personal hygiene—teeth, nails, hair and clothing—which should always be in mint condition, never showing signs of neglect or untidiness. Add to this, a strict attention to detail in the way we prepare ourselves physically for the work place. Those lovely shoes also need polishing and, perhaps, a sheen.
In the article, Professional Appearance and grooming in the Workplace, found on ‘The Future of Working’ website, some basic guidelines for good grooming are offered. Here we see highlighted a few personal pet peeves, like eating and chewing gum while at work and in the presence of customers. Again, and just as relevant, is the warning against tattoos, unnecessary body piercings, heavy perfumes, and weighty pieces of jewelry. They only detract from the professional appearance on the work scene, unless, like tattoos, they can be slipped into the category of ‘things hidden from sight.’
Therefore, let us:
- Pledge to present a professional appearance at work
- Prove our own professionalism and earn the respect of all
- Lay a firm foundation for our own future personal and career success
- Gallantly take these steps as proof of the high value we attach to customer service excellence.