HS Helsinki Why did the polite convenience store seller remember everyone in Katajanokka? According to the researcher, a single word at the checkout reveals a critical point about the interaction

Why did the kindness of Alepa salesman Brenda Lindenberg delight people so much? It’s a different matter whether the seller says ‘hello’ or ‘no hey’, the researcher knows.

Every we trade. However, not everyone encounters a cashier who would like Brenda Lindenberg.

HS spoke about Lindenberg on Wednesday – a happy Katajanokka convenience store that greeted everyone.

When Lindenberg finished work at Katajanokka Alepa last Sunday, customers rushed to the store and drowned Lindenberg in flower buds and hugs.

Read more: The beloved checkout closed in Katajanokka: The store was drowned in a flower bush when the importance of the seller to the entire district became clear to everyone

How is it possible that the trade desk made people react like this? Lindenberg said that in his work he greeted every customer with a smile, helped and served – so he did his job well. It wouldn’t seem like anything very strange.

But it is, says a specialist and researched customer service situations Liisa Raevaara From the Center for Domestic Languages.

“Business situations are typically similar to recurring: you go to the checkout, Barns goods on a leash, and in short, say hello. This is the routine you are used to. Then, if the seller deviates from the routine in a good direction, it will be remembered, ”says Raevaara.

According to the researcher, the customer recognizes the tone of the greeting and instinctively expresses whether the seller is genuine and friendly of his own volition.

Raevaaran according to people often rejoice if they feel they receive special treatment in normal situations. Even the slightest deviation of the customer service from the usual behavior, even if only one extra word, gives the feeling that you have been taken into account.

“If the cash register works somehow other than routinely, it is perceived as special. If you greet and he even answers that well hi, not just Hey, it already matters. Or if he asks what it should be today, it is already something that is not always heard, ”Raevaara analyzes.

Word today suggests that the seller remembers the customer. So the customer is not any street walker for the seller, but someone who is known. Special.

“Encounter is a basic need. In the past, when you lived in small villages, people knew each other and exchanged belongings even there in a village shop. Today, there may be fewer similar moments of encounter. ”

According to the researcher, the customer does recognize the tone of the greeting and instinctively with the look of whether the seller is genuine and friendly of his own volition, or whether he is greeting because it is part of the routine.

“Already a smile is such that not every seller does it. And if it seems that the seller is pleased that I am the one who comes to the store, then yes it does warm up,” Raevaara says.

Brandy however, one cannot just copy, and no customer service representatives like him can be found on order in every store. On the contrary: forced kindness can turn against itself.

“If an order with a smile came from the management and the stores started to compete by asking all the customers what was up, it would become a routine. Then it no longer feels personal and it doesn’t produce more Brands,” Raevaara says.

Nor can the same connection between the customer and the seller arise everywhere. For example, in the stores in the center of Helsinki, the flow of customers is constant and the turnover so high that the seller can in no way identify regular customers or become acquainted with them.

Even then, of course, the seller can act kindly in a one-time service situation. Often, just greeting is enough, and everything else is perceived as an extra.

“If a salesperson even asks where to find a product and he goes to look specifically, it already exceeds expectations. And if the seller has the ability and desire to be the savior of the day and he knows how to do it genuinely and subtly, that is good, of course, ”says Raevaara.

Some people want to remain anonymous because the contents of the Shopping Cart are easily interpreted.

All however, do not want to become close to the trade checkout. Some readers commented on the story of Brenda Lindenberg that she always prefers to shop at self-service checkouts and in no way wants to exchange a word with the seller. In Raevaara’s opinion, this is also okay.

“People are different and it depends a lot on, for example, what kind of work it is: if you have had to meet people throughout the day, you may not need to meet in the store anymore.”

Many called Brenda Lindenberg by first name. This may already seem like a stranger to many.

“Using a first name is usually a sign of being close. But if an unknown customer speaks to a seller with a first name, it can also be offensive and a sign that a norm or practice is being exceeded. It’s as if we’re getting too close,” Raevaara says.

Some people want to remain anonymous because the contents of the Shopping Cart are easily interpreted. In this case, a certain kind of unrecognizability can bring security – you can safely buy anything from the store without your purchases being more or less analyzed or registered.

The best would be if the customer had a choice: those who wanted distance or were busy could choose an ATM. Those who need the service, on the other hand, could count on getting it.

However, in today’s unpredictable, chaotic world, the familiar checkout may have unpredictable significance for many. If, even at the end of a busy day and ragged tired, you drag on to shopping knowing that a nice convenience store salesman can at least smile, it can bring security.

“It would be important for customer service to maintain face-to-face, personal contacts,” Raevaara says.


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