Non-verbal Communication and Your Business

What exactly are you communicating to your customers and guests?

Of course, we all hope that we’re communicating value (through the product or service), respect and care (through the person to person interaction) at our places of business. But there is more communication going on in your place of business than meets the eye.

Communication is Always Happening - non-verbal or verbal. It's important to look at both in business.
Communication is Always Happening – non-verbal or verbal

There are many ‘non-verbal communications’ happening in business and they’re worth taking a look at. It’s smart to pay attention if we want to utilize space to its fullest.

Just like signage, many ways in which nonverbal communication is happening works for you 24/7 and never calls in for a sick day. Your space need not be an underutilized tool in your business.

This not so obvious ‘communication’ adds value or (often times) undermines the value that we hope our customers see in our product or service. The non-verbal communication that is happening is a subtle yet powerful influencer on your customer.

Let’s make it work for you.

Example at the Shop

Case in point. I visited a mechanic in California (full disclosure, it’s my sister and brother in law’s shop).

My skills are vastly different than my sisters. She knows how to drop a transmission (that will never cease to impress me) and I used to know how to change my own oil. Not so much now.

Knowing my sister and brother in law like I do allows me some extra insight into the mechanic world. I know they have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience; they’re both meticulous, fair, and honest through and through. They have all the qualities one wishes in their auto mechanic shop.

However, not all of their customers have the luxury of knowing them as I do. Most people are a bit suspicious of mechanics. Why? I postulate it’s because we don’t have a clue as to what’s going on under the hood.

We take our car in because it has this blinking light or is making a funny noise. We sit inside the car, most often never looking under the hood. We drop our car off at the shop, return to pick it up and pay for the service. To us, nothing looks different from our vantage point behind the wheel.

Hopefully the issue, the light or noise, is gone. But I, the customer, don’t know if that took ten minutes or ten hours to repair. I didn’t sit and watch the magic happen. All I know is that I dropped my car off, received a call when it was finished, paid a lot of money, then took my car home.

Non-verbally communicating organization, care, and attention to detail
Organized Chaos

Non-Verbal Communication in the Shop

How can the shop communicate value – non-verbally – about the quality of the work they’ve done? I surely don’t want, and am not at all interested in, a lesson on auto mechanics. Not interested. So, what can be done that translates the quality of the work done under the hood into something I ‘feel’ or notice? Loads! Here are just a few examples.

  • If the shop has left the paper mat on the floorboard it communicates to that they took some care and thoughtfulness when working on my car.
  • If they’ve cleaned the windshield that is something I can see as well that communicates to me they’ve gone the extra mile.

These things have absolutely nothing to do with rectifying the problem under the hood but they’re communicating something to me nonetheless.

A Captive Audience

At my sister and brother in law’s shop they’ve done a marvelous job with non-verbal communication about their shop values and it’s IN THE WASHROOM.

No joke, it’s in the washroom.

These pictures and items non-verbally communicate to a ‘captive’ audience.

Vintage Photo and Antiques communicate reliability and dependability non-verbally
Vintage Photo and Antiques

Thoughtful Arrangement

  • Communicates care and attention to detail (the customer wants this of course!)
  • Communicates systematic approach to auto repair (not a fly by the seat of the pants with diagnosis and remedies)
  • Communicates a sense of calm because it’s orderly. Dropping off a vehicle and finding alternative transportation to the job, hauling kids, plus the extra unexpected expense of the repair naturally puts the customer in a state of anxiety
Artfully and purposefully placed and chosen decor communicates the shop has a knowledge base and value for taking care of things (a.k.a. your vehicle)
Artfully and Purposefully Placed Decor

“Classic” Vintage Items

  • Communicates value in taking care of things (like my car!)
  • Communicates the importance of maintaining and repairing things over than throwing away and purchasing something new and more expensive
  • Communicates trust because the items are ‘old” (the old mechanic with experience is the one I want looking at my car, not the new person who is going to waste my time and money trying to figure it out)
  • Classic well-kept items non-verbally communicate dependability and reliability.

This example may have surprised you but hopefully has given you food for thought.

Classic well-kept items non-verbally communicate dependability and reliability.
Classic, Well-kept Items

Take a Look at the Loo

Become a “looky-loo” (SO corny)!

The washroom is just one of the many places we non-verbally communicate to our customers. I invite you to go in, take a seat, look around (that’s what your customer is doing).

What do you see? Chipped paint? Dirty corners? What’s behind the door? Any marketing messaging on the walls?

You have a ‘captive’ audience. What do you want to communicate?

Lets take a look at the ways your business is non-verbally communicating to your customer!

Samantha works with businesses helping owners to ‘tame the overwhelm’. She conducts workshops and trainings in hospitality, customer experience, and creating a culture in the workplace that inspires and motivates employees and customers!

To contact simply email me at info@Kaizen.Zone

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