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So you’ve worked your retail job today – Does Your Face Hurt?


When my kids were young and they got a scrape on a knuckle or knee, they always came whining to me. What else are dads for? While checking to make sure it was actually minor (almost always, thank goodness!), I would ask them, “Does your face hurt?” Of course, they looked at me wondering why their face would hurt from a knuckle buster and answer, “No…” My immediate response was always, “Well, it’s kiiiilling me!” Pretty much always got a, “Daddyyyy!!!” and a smile. As they grew up, one of them finally got smart enough to answer my question with, “No, but YOURS is kiiilling me!” Then we both smiled. Funny thing was, when we smiled, we felt better!

Fact is, smiling takes a lot of effort. You have to use an awful lot of muscles throughout your entire face to produce a real smile. Even your ears move! Smiling, however, is one of the most healthy things you can do for yourself. If you think I’m joking, read this article on smiling: http://blog.bufferapp.com/the-science-of-smiling-a-guide-to-humans-most-powerful-gesture . What’s that got to do with your retail day? Let’s consider these three benefits of smiling all day while on your retail job:

  1. As you’ve already read in that article above on smiling, it makes you feel better. It actually makes you happier and improves your mood. Happy and in a good mood makes the day go faster (time always passes faster when things are pleasant and slower when they’re not pleasant, right?). Along with this, you’ll find yourself not minding some of the more mundane tasks as much, be better able to handle all those “demanding” customer needs, and actually getting more done because you’re more prone to get started on a task rather than moping around thinking about how much you don’t feel like doing it.
  2. People are much more receptive to smiling faces than to faces that are pouting or even just bland. In this point, let’s consider our co-workers (yes, including your supervisors). If you have at least a half a smile on your face, you look pleasant and people are much more prone to listen to what you say, help with what you need, and just plain associate with you all day. Your working conditions, particularly with your co-workers (yes, including your supervisors) will be much more bare-able (possibly even pleasant?) all day.
  3. Read the first line in number 2 above. Only this time, let’s talk about those pesky customers. Yes, customers CAN be demanding, needy, and even rude sometimes. Let’s realize first that we don’t know what they just previously went through, what’s going on in their lives to make them not feel as happy or friendly as us, or even if they’re just not smiley face types. They need or want something, and it’s our jobs to satisfy that need or want. However, too many times it’s been proven that people are much more likely to chill out a little, be more receptive to our responses to their needs, or just trust us a little more because we’re smiling. Try it – it works!

So let me ask you this, after working your retail job today, “Does your face hurt?” from using all those facial muscles all day? Was it a pleasant day and did you actually get more done than you thought you would? Did you enjoy your time with your co-workers (yes, including your supervisors) today? Did it feel like the customers were easier to deal with today? Are you less “unhappy” about going in to do it all over again tomorrow? If not, then at the end of each one of your retail days, you need to ask yourself, “Does my face hurt?”

Retail How-To Consultant: Edward Fox


TAGS: retail, customer service,
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