Boise resident Ron Grisham had a flat tire recently. He did what most people do: call his auto club membership and had it change the tire.
He dropped the tire off at a tire store to be repaired. Several hours passed before Grisham received a call with news the tire was ruined.
I was a little shocked and asked him why I wasnt called earlier on my cellphone, Grisham says.
Employee Scott Summertons positive attitude shined through, as he explained how hed been working with other area stores to locate an exchange tire that would match the brand and approximate mileage as the tires on Grishams Jeep.
I went to the counter, fully expecting to pay for the used tire he had found, when he looked at me and said, No charge, Grisham says.
Rather than banter with the customer about the delays, Summertons positive attitude and outlook turned the possible negative encounter into a win-win situation with the customer. Its this outlook that translates into trust and creates repeat customers. Building positive attitude doesnt mean companies neglect or ignore workplace negativity; it only establishes the methods of moving forward.
Wayne Castle, the store manager, says he believes a positive outlook is not something everyone has. However, it can be nurtured.
If they dont have the real positive attitude, you work with them, Castle says of employees. If they see the benefits of it, they will usually want to be more positive. Theyll work with the rest of the crew and see how we are, and it will trickle down to them.
Management plays a big role in developing that outlook. If companies dwell too much on what they cant do, or what their employees are not doing, that will be evident to customers. This transparency will be picked up almost automatically.
Looking at what an employee does well, providing encouragement and recognition will be mirrored in how the service or product offered is received. When employees learn to trust management and its position to stand behind promises, customers will also see that trust.
Theres too much out there with the negativity in the economy, that we dont need that, Castle says.
Joey Faucette, in his book Work Positive in a Negative World, gives a good example of how developing a personal positive attitude frees the mind to focus on other aspects of business.
He uses vultures and hummingbirds to illustrate how business owners fly over the landscape looking for something.
We choose what were looking for death or life, failures or successes, losses or leverage, the negative or the positive, he writes. Then we live our choices.
Developing trust with customers is a landscape choice. If we choose to have a negative outlook with customers, well begin with a negative employee experience. Is the tire ruined, or is there an opportunity to provide a higher level of service?
If your employees see the positivity, itll translate. Faucette says after considerable time, owners will see things from a doable view, and say, I can see my business this way all the time!
ROBB HICKEN: Chief storyteller for the Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 947-2115.