Thanks to the the opportunity that I had this year - to work as a saleswoman in California this summer, I have realized the huge difference between being waitress, seller, and all kind of service providers generally in USA and in Europe. I have never realized that behavior of Americans towards customers can surprised me so much. Or it's maybe just that European style of Customer Care shocked me so much, after coming back.
Before going to USA a lot of people told me, that I will be surprised by American way of life and the way they treat customers. They were right, I was. And they also told me, that after going back to Europe I will see an enormous contrast in this behavior. And they were right again.
In USA, they already recognized the need to build a relationship with the customer before selling them. They understood that in order to convert regular customer in to loyal and one who is returning is that they must give him special personal attention and care. And it seems to me that in Europe, this is mostly ignored or forgotten by large majority of enterpreneurs.
Maybe you might be loosing your temper already. Why should America be the best at everything? I neither mean that every business is like this, nor majority. But mostly on average, businesses I have visited (and it's a lot of them) are in fact more like the way I have described.
Let me explain why I have this feeling.
American workers in every restaurant, fast food, supermarket, shop, bank, etc. I have visited were nice to me. Every time they were smiling at me, they asked me a few conversational questions, they always advised me when I did not understand something, they were patient and I didn´t have the feeling that I bother them. I always left them in good mood and with smile on my face. And you can be sure that not just me but also other people loved to visit this place again.
After four months in USA we took a plane and flew back to Europe. On our way to the Czech Republic, we had a stopover in Milan and Rome. I was thirsty in Milan so I decided to buy something to drink at the airport. I came smiling with goods in my hands to the cashier and she didn´t even smiled, but actually she didn´t even look at me. She just asked me with unpleasant tone in her voice if that is all for me. I was shocked. "Welcome back," I said to myself. I was devastated. I never realized that the reality is so striking. I went to share this story with Peter who were waiting for me. He just answered: "I know. I told you that before the summer." Unfortunately the same situation was repeated with the purchase of food in Rome and visiting the bank in the Czech Republic. Lately I just had to simply accept this difference. But is this a good way how to behave and treat customers? And also how to sell?
I do not know if it's their nature or American upbringing, but I think that in this regard could be many service providers from European companies get inspired. I think that Americans prefer quality of relationship with each customer instead of quantity of customers.
My advice for you dear Europeans is to stop thinking about customers like they were on a conveyor belt - next, next, next. Invest at least a minute to each of them and let them feel that you really care for them. They will come back!
Do you have the same experience or different one? Comment below the article.
Jane is finishing her masters in Economics and Management - specialised in commercial communication at the university. Now contributing for Playyourday as a former saleswoman with experience in California and no.1 Top Student competitor in managemenet and marketing contest. Her charming sense of humanity is felt all around the place.
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