What is Friendliness?


5 Steps to Friendliness and Great Customer Service

  1. Say Hello
  2. Say Thank you
  3. Look Them in the Eye
  4. Smile
  5. Go the Extra Mile

 Friendliness doesn’t happen by accident. It is a conscious thought and action by one person to make someone else happy and pleased. It is a genuine acknowledgement that someone else is around you and is your way of showing your appreciation. It is taking the time to show someone that you care and that he or she is important to you. It is a welcome that reaches out and pulls the other person in. It is treating each and every person in a courteous and respectful manner. Friendliness comes from the inside of you, but is demonstrated by how you act toward others.

Friendliness may or may not be found in other companies, but it is critical that this company is known throughout the community as a welcoming and friendly place to shop. You make the difference in whether this is a fact or only a wish. Our customers observe in your actions and behaviors and determine whether to return again another day. Friendliness comes from the pride that you take in yourself, and the pleasure you get from serving the people around you.

The 5 Steps to Friendliness and Great Customer Service is an important part of meeting the expectations of our customers. Each step is explained and examples are given. This is not a complete list of everything that should be done, but illustrates a common sense approach to dealing with each and every person who comes into our store in the friendliest way possible. You make the difference in whether this is a fact or only a wish. People are aware of the way that you act and the actions you take. The 5 Steps to Friendliness and Great Customer Service outlines what the customer expects of us.


  1. Say Hello
    • The most important impression is the first impression you make. When a customer or another associate approaches you, acknowledge them by saying hello.
    • Approach the customer first. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
    • “Good Morning”
    • “Good Afternoon”
    • “How are you?”
    • “Hi!”
    • “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
    • “Do you have everything you need?”


  1. Say Thank-you
    • The last impression that someone retains comes from the last words that you say to him or her. Make the final words they hear a pleasant and cheerful thank you…. with an upbeat, positive sound in your voice. They will keep that last thought in their mind until the next time that they return.
    • “Thank you for shopping with us.”
    • “Have a nice day”
    • “Did you get everything you were looking for?”
    • “We appreciate you doing business with us. I look forward to seeing you again.”


  1. Look Them In The Eye
    • Keeping eye contact with the person in front of you is a critical way that people judge whether you are sincere or just saying the words but don’t really mean them. Look each person clearly in the eye and acknowledge their presence… demonstrate that you recognize that they want something from you.
    • This is all about body language. This should be approached as if you are greeting a friend. You should present an open and welcoming movement; with your head directly facing the person.
    • It is important to make some positive movement to acknowledge that you see them. Then and only then do they really know that you are paying attention.
    • The right body language informs the person that they are not a distraction but that you are pleased to see them.
    • Pay attention; Listen to what they say. Don’t Interrupt
    • Discover their needs, fill them, and exceed them.


  1. Smile
    • A smile is contagious. It spreads good feelings and encourages a positive and cheerful atmosphere.
    • The smile is more than a curl of the lip and showing your teeth. The entire face lights up and becomes a part of a genuine smile. There seems to be a sparkle in the eye and the entire demeanor of the person changes.
    • If the customer is confused, a smile begins the process of bringing clarity.
    • If the customer is angry, a smile begins to calm them down so that you can take care of the issue.
    • If the person needs your help in any other way, a smile indicates that they are dealing with a friend who wants to make things better.
    • So Smile and make them welcome. Would you really want to talk to a person who doesn’t want to talk to you?



  1. Go the Extra Mile
    • Customers are not dependent on us; we are dependent on them. Take the time to make them happy.
    • Find a way to provide just a little bit extra service – to make a difference
    • Speak clearly. Never eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke while on the job.
    • Take the extra time to help them find the item they are looking for.
    • Deliver a little bit more than they wanted.
    • Help them when they are lost
    • Help them with the paperwork related to their orders
    • Find ways to make it easy for them to do business with us
    • Solve the problem – don’t wait for someone else to do it.
    • Deliver a product or service that they forgot to order
    • Read a label or a sign if they can’t read the small print
    • Clarify the rules
    • Answer the questions like it is the first time even if they asked it 10 times before
    • Help them understand how the system works
    • Show them to the shortest way to get their products or services delivered
    • Go to whomever you have to make it happen for the customer
    • Do whatever it takes to keep yourself, your customers, and associates safe from accidents and injury. Pick it up; don’t pass it up…. Papers, trash, products, food, ladders, equipment and anything else that is not where it belongs.
    • Know your company and the products and services you sell.
    • Find a way to turn each small interaction with a customer into a great example of friendly customer service.


Do each of the steps in the 5 Steps to Friendliness and Great Customer Service with everyone that you meet every time. This is true for each of our customers and each employee in the store. A great company will come from doing the right things over and over again.

Learn the 5 Steps. Live the 5 Steps. Our customers will appreciate it by visiting us again. This company will be a nicer place for everyone to work.



5 Steps to Friendliness and Great Customer Service

  1. Say Hello
  2. Say Thank you
  3. Look Them in the Eye
  4. Smile
  5. Go the Extra Mile

A quote to relate to breaking free from old ideas and our fear of change

Henrik Ibsen – Ghosts

“But I’m coming to believe that all of us are ghosts… It’s not just what we inherit from our mothers and fathers.  It’s also the shadows of dead ideas and opinions and convictions.  They’re no longer alive, but they grip us all the same, and hold on to us against our will.  All I have to do is open a newspaper to see ghosts hovering between the lines.  They are haunting the whole country, those stubborn phantoms – so many of them, so thick,  they’re like an impenetrable dark mist.   And here we are, all of us, so abjectly terrified of the light.”


From Rosabeth Moss Kanter   in her book  the Change Masters  p 34-35

“Individual” and “Team” are not contradictory concepts in the innovating organization.   Teams – whether in formal incarnations of as an implied emphasis on coalition formation and peer cooperation – are one of the integrative vehicles that keep power tools – information, resources, and support – accessible.    The use of participative mechanisms helps ensure that segmentalism will not prevail, because individuals must constantly seek additional viewpoints, more pieces of the puzzle, solutions that have payoffs for others as well.  At the same time, more individual with ideas to contribute above and beyond their own job have a way to do this.

Participation in team projects above and beyond the rote requirements of the job is a device for tapping unexpected individual contributions.   It helps read people for change by giving them broader outlook and more skills.  And it ensures that people have information beyond their limited purview.

Good teams are action bodies that develop better systems, methods, products, or policies than would result from unilateral action by one responsible segment, or even from each of the team members working in isolation from the others.   The results are likely to b more innovative and more easily used.   And the individual involved are more empowered by the access to the additional power tools the team offers than they would be even if exercising their clear and unquestioned authority within one segment.




From “What’s Working”   February 4, 1998

The critical question may not be:  “ How do we make a team work?”  but “Do we need a team for this work at all?”

Ask yourself,   Does this project really require collective work?   If you can just as easily see a project being divided into parts, assigned to several individuals and then given back to a leader who integrates the completed parts, a team is probably unnecessary.

Collaborative work is better when your company is tackling brand new projects where the added creativity sparked by teams is key.

Do team members lead various parts of the project?    When a team leader makes all the key decisions, it’s not a team.  On true teams, each member should have the lead responsibility for one aspect of the project.  If the team members have discovered that’s not the most effective tactic for getting the work done, chances are you should disband the team.

Do people in the group hold each other accountable?    As above, if the team members answer to a “team leader” and not each other, then the group isn’t really a team.


How to Make Meetings Work !

Why have meetings in the first place?

  • People need to communicate with each other to get things done, and face to face interaction is often necessary.


  • The creative dynamics of the group can develop new alternatives and solutions.
  • The results from a group can often be greater than the sum of its parts.
  • A meeting is an excellent place to think together, and not just exchange words.
  • A problem that requires the knowledge and experience of several people can often be solved best by bringing them all together in a meeting.
  • When group meetings work well, people will tend to work better back at their desks. They feel productive and that encourages them to work better on their own.
  • Thoughts can be shared that allows each group member to do their own job with greater efficiency
  • Ideas can be developed
  • Problems can be identified and solved
  • Rumors can be squelched
  • People can be informed
  • Assignments can be delegated
  • Productivity is improved.
  • Mutual respect and understanding can grow
  • Opinions can be changed
  • Information can be quickly disseminated
  • Praise can be given



What happens when a meeting doesn’t work?                                                      

  • People are frustrated and angry.
  • They take the frustration back to work, and waste other people’s time griping about what happened.
  • The unresolved conflicts spill over into other parts of the business.
  • The work has to be done again. Another meeting has to be called to accomplish what should have been accomplished the first time.




Steps to a Better Meeting

Before the Meeting                                                                                           

  • Plan the meeting carefully:
  • Why do we need a meeting?
  • What is the topic?
  • Who should attend?
  • When will the meeting occur?
  • Where will the meeting occur?
  • Room set up
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • How the room is arranged?
  • Are refreshments necessary during breaks?
  • What audio visual equipment will be necessary?
  • Prepare and send out an agenda in advance. This could include an outline of the objectives of the meeting and any other information important to the success of the meeting.
  • The facilitator should come early and set up the meeting room.



At the Beginning of the Meeting                                                                     

  • Start on time – show respect for people in attendance and the value of their time.
  • Review the agenda.
  • Clearly define roles. Review the ground rules such as one person speaking at a time, amount of time each person has for a response, and restricting personal issues to another time.
  • Be sure the facilitator is identified and a recorder for the meeting is selected.
  • Review action items from the previous meeting It is usually not necessary to review all the minutes from the last meeting – only the action items that needed to get accomplished for this meeting.   Review only those portions of the previous meeting if some critical information is needed for this meeting.
  • Set clear time limits for the length of the meeting. Meetings should rarely go beyond 90 – 120 minutes.  This reduces “tune-out” and mental overload by participants.
  • Get participants to introduce themselves and state their expectations for the meeting.



During the Meeting                                                                                          

  • There must be a common focus on content – one meeting at a time. Focus on the same problem in the same way at the same time. Do not allow several topics to be discussed at the same time by different groups.
  • Maximize participation from the entire group. Get everyone involved. Someone must be responsible for maintaining an open and balanced conversational flow.
  • There must be a common focus on the process – abide by the rules established.


Common problems encountered in all kinds of meetings

  • Rude behavior
  • Separate conversations occurring in another area of the room when others have the floor and are speaking.
  • People walking out of the room in the middle of discussions.
  • Accepting telephone calls in the middle of the meeting.
  • Passing notes to other people in the room.
  • Working on non-related projects in the middle of the meeting.
  • Arriving late for a meeting.
  • Interrupting someone else in the middle of their comments.
  • Personal attack – Attacking individuals rather than their idea.
  • Repetition and wheelspinning – Going over the same old ideas again and gain. Focusing on the problem, but not on finding the solution.
  • Poor meeting environments – Can’t hear, can’t see, too stuffy.
  • Communications problems – People not listening to or understanding what others are saying or making faulty assumptions.



At the End of the Meeting                                                                                

  • Review the group memory – What did we really agree on doing?
  • Establish action items: Who will do what, and when will it happen?
  • Set the date and place of the next meeting and develop a preliminary agenda.
  • Evaluate the meeting. Did we meet expectations? Was the meeting worth our time?
  • Close the meeting crisply and positively.
  • Clean up the coffee cups and trash and return the room back to the way it was found.




After the Meeting                                                                                              

  • Prepare a memo to the group summarizing what was accomplished and what the action plan should be in preparation for the next meeting.
  • Follow-up on action items and begin to plan the next meeting.






How can you know when a meeting has worked?                               

  • First, what happened?
  • What got done?
  • What problems were solved?
  • What decisions were made?
  • What were the net results after you spent the time?
  • Second, the process of the meeting.
  • How did problems get solved?
  • How did decisions get made?
  • How did the group work together?
  • How did people feel about the meeting?
  • Did everyone get a chance to talk?
  • Were people stimulated and challenged… or …was the meeting a battle of egos and unresolved conflicts?




6 Human Tendencies that work against a meeting of the minds.

  1. People resist change and are cautious about exchanging their ideas.
  2. The inner thoughts of the listener tend to draw their mind away from the conversation at hand. It has been said, by many, that even the most attentive listener “tunes out” at least one second every ten seconds.  Those “blank” moments can lead to vast misunderstandings and errors in communications.
  3. People often start talking before their ideas have been clearly formed. As a result, their thoughts can change direction.
  4. People hear what they want to hear, and do not necessarily face all the facts presented to them.
  5. The speaker assumes a lot about what the other person knows.
  6. People withhold information about what they are thinking and what they know, under the impression that the less others know, the better. There can be hidden agendas that are not apparent to the rest of the audience.

The result is often an exchange of words and not communication and understanding.




A particular caution should be raised against “group-think”.   A group that meets regularly may develop a group way of thinking that decreases their objectivity and their openness to new and diverse ways of thinking.  Members’ statements begin to be “policed” by others to be sure that no one strays too far away from the way the group is proceeding.  It can become a kind of self-censorship to prevent deviation from established norms.  This can happen by some who try to protect the group from adverse ideas, to prevent potential conflict, or to quickly get to consensus at the expense of quality thinking.

To prevent this from occurring, see that the group reviews the pros and cons more than once. The diversity of viewpoints is the great strength of a group. Keep all lines of communication open and bring out as many of the hidden agendas as possible.


 Quality of the group’s decisions are higher when:

  • People present their views; listen to others; but don’t try to argue their own views until all have a chance to be heard.
  • It should not be assumed that someone must win, and someone must lose in the course of reaching a general consensus on direction for the group. The group should strive to find the best approach for moving the organization forward.
  • We should not change our minds simply to avoid conflict and to reach agreement. If people are forced into accepting disagreeable outcomes (from their viewpoint), they will find ways to resist the implementation later on.
  • We avoid conflict-reducing techniques such as majority vote, averages, coin-flips, and bargaining. Meetings work best when a common consensus is reached. When a dissenting member finally agrees, don’t feel you have to reward them with some win later on.
  • Differences of opinion are natural and expected. Seek them out. Involve everyone in the decision process. This will lead to better results later on.


Some other thoughts

  • Bosses shouldn’t run their own meeting. They need to be a participant and a leader in the discussions.  It is hard to do that and run the meeting at the same time.
  • Every meeting needs a facilitator – someone to guide the conversation among the participants. This person’s role is to be sure that everyone gets a chance to participate, and generally ensure that the meeting accomplishes the objectives laid out in the agenda.
  • Every meeting needs a recorder – someone to take the minutes of the meeting. It should not be the facilitator. The facilitator has enough to do keeping the flow of the meeting going.   The recorder should work with the facilitator and the leader of the meeting to develop the memo to the group.







Roles of the participant in a meeting

  1. Supply needed information, useful experiences, and opinions that are appropriate to the solution of the problem.
  2. Contribute to the conversation without dominating the conversation. A clear, concise statement is more effective in making a point than a long-winded monologue.
  3. Be an active listener. Analyze what the speaker is saying and compare it to what has been said before.  Listen more than you talk, and it will help to improve the quality of your talk when you do contribute.

 Content Roles

  1. Propose a goal; define a problem, suggest a procedure or solution.
  2. Request additional facts or relevant information.
  3. State the facts as you know them to expand the knowledge of the group.
  4. Provide alternatives.
  5. Clarify by interpreting or summarizing related ideas.
  6. Test for consensus by checking with the group to see how much agreement there is.

Process Roles

  1. Recognize others contributions in a positive way
  2. Share your feelings with others.
  3. Reconcile the disagreements. Explore the differences by reducing the emotional charge of others.
  4. Offer to change or adjust your position in a conflict.
  5. Gate-keeping – Keep the lines of communication open by facilitating the participation of everyone in the group.
  6. Evaluate by expressing standards for the group to achieve, or by measuring results, or evaluating the degree of group commitment.

A successful meeting means that members accept and practice team roles – both content and process to achieve agreed upon objectives.



Principles of proper delegation

  1. Establish the responsibility
    • Make sure it has a proper description of both the tasks required and the behaviors needed to do the project or job successfully.
  2. Establish the appropriate authority level
    • 1st level is “Do it. Don’t tell me.
      1. For example, “You can spend under $50 and, as long as you remain within your total budget level, you do not need to tell me you spent the money.”
    • 2nd level is “Do it. Tell me after you spend it.
      1. For example, “You can spend between $51 and $100 but I want you to let me know you spent the money.”
    • 3rd level is “You are not authorized to make that decision until you consult with me first.”
      1. For example, “If you want to spend more than $101 dollars you must come to me; outline the amount you want to spend; what you want to spend it on; and why it is important to spend the money now.”
  1. Once you have done steps one and two and it is clear to everyone, then you can hold that person accountable for their results.


One of the big problems is many managerial / employee conflicts is that someone is given the responsibility for doing something, held accountable for the achievement, but they never know whether they can proceed on their own or have to constantly check in for permission. When they proceed, they are told they should have checked in. When they hesitate, they are told they should have moved faster and gotten things done.  The parameters have not been properly set at the beginning and so only “20/20” hindsight provides the answer and then it is too late.  It leads to frustration and dysfunction throughout the organization.