Enhance Non-Verbal Communication by Harnessing the Power of Mime
In the first blog of the How to Wow Customer Service series,Build a ‘Me Brand’ Build Confidence, we looked at the advantages of building the confidence of front line customer service staff to improve both the customer experience, as well as the individual’s job satisfaction.
This time we explore the place of non-verbal communication in customer service. But…. instead of rolling through the traditional stuff that’s found in most customer service development programmes, we are taking this element of customer service development to a whole new level!
In large, open, busy customer service environments such as large retail spaces, airports, venue car parks, tourist attractions, sports venues, public transport etc, non-verbal communication can contribute massively to customer experience. That’s why for those customers who have venues as described, we tailor How to Wow Customer Service workshop content to concentrate more on providing customer service agents with the self-confidence, self-awareness and skills to display the right body language, ensuring they are visible and welcoming in their work environment.
For naturally gregarious individuals, being visible in a large space poses no problem at all. However, for those less able to ‘put on a show’, large and crowded open spaces can be intimidating. For more shy people this type of environment can have a negative impact on body language and trigger a desire to make themselves look smaller, and as a result, to blend into a crowd. This is not what we want at all!
Corporate uniforms do help customers to identify customer service agents or retail assistants however, often a uniform or name badge is not enough. Not being able to see or interact with a member of staff will impact on customer experience. Changes in body language can make a real difference.
Learn a Thing or Two from the Animal Kingdom
In 1872, Charles Darwin began the modern studies of body language, when he wrote in The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals that animals changed their body language and expressions to establish authority. It is well known that some animals will make themselves appear ‘bigger’ so that they stand out, either to attract a mate, or to look more dominant.
I am not suggesting that we backcomb our hair to stand on end to make ourselves look taller (or more attractive) but we can emulate techniques to help us better stand out in a crowd, become more approachable and proactively contribute to the customer experience.
Non-Verbal Communication at the School of Mime
Without the use of speech, mime artists rely entirely upon their non-verbal communication. They are experts in physical self-awareness and work impressively with their environment to support their ‘character’ and the messages they are trying to convey.
Harnessing the power of specific mime skills and techniques can be very powerful in non-mime situations and environments. And particularly valuable to customer facing staff who work in big open environments or within large crowds. For example, awareness of the direction in which a crowd is moving and its collective rhythm provides an opportunity to use opposing pace and motions to stand out and ensure visibility. In a busy environment, actions that say “I am here and here to help” are an essential way of ensuring customer service is as good as it can be.
In addition to benefiting customers and contributing to creating a memorable customer service experience, mime techniques build individuals’ confidence. Making even small changes like ‘being large and more open’, immediately impacts on the people feel about themselves. Once a change is made externally, this triggers changes internally.
Watch out for our short video showcasing some of these techniques – coming soon!