If you want to create a customer experience and style of customer service that puts both customers and employees at ease, revisit how you require your employees to dress.
In today’s informal society, the most successful sartorial approach is, by and large, to encourage your customer-facing employees to dress more or less like your customers–at least like your customers dress on their non -sweatpants days!
This puts your customers as well as your employees at ease, and will pay dividends down the road. If you let employees have a choice in what they wear, while still providing them with appropriate boundaries, it can help employees feel more at ease at work, which is exactly what you want if you’re aiming for authentic, eye-to-eye communication.
Consider the innovative approach to the concept of uniforms that Andaz Hotels has taken. Employees at these luxury hotels select and purchase their own “uniforms”– which are actually any outfit that catches the employee’s eye as long as it is selected from a particular designer’s line. This local designer represents the vibe of the hotel’s surrounding community. Employees buy the clothes off the rack to fit their own shape and size (yes, they’re reimbursed for the purchase!).
What I find smart and encouraging about the Andaz approach is that it puts a premium on looking genuine for guests and making employees feel genuine as they go about their duties. Sara Kearney from Hyatt, Andaz’s parent, explains: Part of the reason we decided to do this is that oftentimes, when you are looking at buying uniforms for so many different shapes and sizes of employees, actual uniforms may not feel right to an employee. But if they are able to go choose their own clothes, it becomes a positive part of their feeling on the job, that sense of ‘I’m wearing my own clothes.’” Tattooed and uniquely “uniformed” hotel employee greets and escorts arriving guests
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