Smile! It's not hard to do, and it's way easier than frowning, right? A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likable, courteous. and even competent.

When you approach a counter in a business and the person who is serving you doesn't look at you, nevertheless smile, how do you feel about giving that business your hard-earned money? Not so good. You might decide not to return.

It translates on the phone too. Have you ever called your airline to ask to change a reservation? I'll bet 90 percent of the time you're not having the best call. But what if that airline agent smiled and was happy to help? What if he didn't read a script and told you to have a "helluva day and an amazing vacation!" Wouldn't you just want to interact with him? Instead of "IsThereAnythingElseICanDoForYouTodayMs.popick?"

So what can you do right now to make a simple smile work for your business?

1. Get your customer service team happy.

They're dealing with a variety of issues on a minute-by-minute basis some good, some not-so-good. Cookies at 3 p.m. make anyone happy! A post it with "You Rock, Mindy!" on it staring them in the face might help if Mindy's having a bad day. You'd be amazed at how well your customers will "hear" a smile over the phones, on a live chat or in an email.

2. Managers, turn that frown upside down.

Encourage your managers to smile when they walk around, especially if they're talking to customers and their team. If the team sees their managers doing this they'll emulate it.

3. Make meetings fun!

If you're at the head of the table crack a joke for levity. Then someone else might take your lead and do the same.

4. Greet people.

Coming to the office every day can be repetitive. But if the person who sits at the front desk is happy and fun when your team walks in the door it can start the day off right. I know my former company VerticalResponse has one of the best!

Hubspot has an amazing slideshare The Art of Talking Happy, with 10 phrases that will make your customers feel smart and coming back for more.

Bottom line? Customers like to feel great about who they do business with and a simple smile can help get you there.

Published on: Mar 10, 2015
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