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Retail Store Greeters

I used to work with a gal in New York who was fond of saying, “Love ya, mean it” – all in the same unenthusiastic breath. While her irreverence endeared her to all, it demonstrated to me that words alone, apart from an authentic delivery, can be pretty useless in conveying a message.

To that point, we’ve all experienced greeters at retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Blockbuster, and others. Their role is to make shoppers feel welcome by greeting them and perhaps offering a bit of assistance as they enter the store.

At one time, there may have been a spark of enthusiasm – perhaps because it was new and unexpected – for the greeter role. Today, from my perspective anyway, it appears as though the novelty has worn off. Ironically, the greeter’s podium at one large retailer faces into the store so that the rep greeting shoppers has his or her back to them. This results, many times, in a half-hearted glance and greeting over the right shoulder. It appears to be more of a security post than a greeter’s station.

At another retailer, the greeting is so long and scripted that all of the warmth and authenticity that should accompany a sincere greeting has been squeezed out in order to reinforce the store’s marketing message.

So what’s your read on store greeters? Are they unnecessary roles or is the problem in the execution?

“I appreciate your comments, mean it.” : )

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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