I am on a flight from DFW to PHL which means today I had the opportunity to intact with many people. First, I meet the team of TSA folks who looked at my identification and processed me through security. No one smiled, they were concerned with the process. At the gate, I scanned my boarding pass, and the gate agent indicated I could proceed. She was so concerned with the transaction she did not smile either. As I boarded the airplane, a flight attendant was joking with another flight attendant, no smile for me. Once airborne, two flight attendants dispensed drinks. No smile, no chit-chat.
Now maybe TSA and airline employees are not allowed to smile at customers but, I don’t think this is the case. I think their job focuses on transactions. They are supposed to check IDs, they need to scan boarding passes, now they have to serve drinks. They are so focused on the transaction they ignore the experience. They forget the genuine smile, the kind hello, the warm welcome.
Volume is the problem you might be thinking. It is hard to welcome a few hundred or a thousand people throughout a day. Maybe and maybe that is emotionally draining for some people. But some organizations do it. Disney, Apple, and Chic-fil-A to name a few.
People love a warm welcome even if that warm welcome takes two seconds. Can you figure out how to focus more on welcoming new members and new attendees and less on the transaction?