Do You Cheer Your Customers Out The Door?


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On Monday I was fortunate to get out of work early enough to rush over to watch my daughter’s cheerleading squad perform during the high school JV football game. Of course, a proud dad gushing over his kid. Then, at the conclusion of the game, I saw something that I never thought much about at earlier games I’ve attended…

As the home players walk off the field they are cheered on by two rows of feverously-waved pom-poms and a chorus of accolades and encouragement from the girls. Amongst the sweat and dirt of the game, the players seemed to appreciate the genuine enthusiasm directed towards them.

Then I wondered…why don’t we do a similar thing for our customers?

Now, of course I don’t mean to hire a bunch of teenagers to cheer on your customers but why can’t we ensure that every guest leaving our business is aware of how much we appreciate them and their willingness to give us their money? Seems rather easy, correct?

But it is amazing how many times you leave a retail store with nothing more than your bag handed over the counter, a slight eye glance and a routine “thanks, have a nice day” being uttered.

Is that the best we can do?

It that the way to show appreciation to your customers who have entrusted you with their business?

Think about this…

You have just spent a considerable amount of time with the customer(s), YOUR guests, and didn’t think it was appropriate or NECESSARY to wish them a good afternoon/goodnight and a safe trip home? Is this how you treat a guest at YOUR HOUSE?

I hope not! Your grandma would be ashamed of you.

Do NOT lose interest in this customer and move your focus onto another, whether next in line or on the telephone. You have not finished the service with this customer yet. You are not finished with him/her until they walk out the door. Never forget that.

You want the last thing your guests’ experience, their exit, to be as memorable as their entrance and greeting was.

As you hand over your product, or complete your service, this is the time to “clinch-the-deal! This is when you make your final pitch to your customer and butter them up with praise and appreciation.

It makes all the difference in the world, I promise.

Thank them for coming.

Say “It was a pleasure taking care of you today/tonight”.

Offer to get their coats from the coat check room. Help put their coat on, assist them with their bags, open the door for them, etc.

With a warm smile, wish them a sincere good afternoon, goodnight, etc. Ask them to return again with a comment like:
• “It was wonderful seeing you again”.
• “Hope to see you again soon”.
• “When you come back, please ask for me. I will be happy to take care of you again”.

Let your guests know that you were happy they came and that you had the opportunity to serve them.

Be appreciative of the business provided to you.

I know you would do this if you had a dinner party at your house and it was time for your friends or family to leave. Right?

You would wrap up some food in aluminum foil or “Tupperware” and put them in the nicest bags you have. Never those yellow plastic supermarket bags, oh no.

You would make sure they didn’t have too much to drink and were ok to drive. You would get their coats and hand them out one by one. You have a big warm hug ready as well.

You would get your shoes on and even walk them to their car carrying the doggie bags. You would place them gently in the trunk and help grandma into her seat and maybe even try to assist her with the seat belt…until she said ‘That’s ok honey I can do it”. One final hug and kiss to all.

Then as the car drives away you are left standing at your door or in the driveway waving as they move out of sight. They know you appreciated them being there. You showed them in countless ways. Can’t you do this for your customers as well?

So, here’s my farewell greeting to you today…

So it’s time for you to leave? Sorry to see you go.
Well it’s been my pleasure to take care of you today and it’s great to see that you enjoyed your time as well.
Here’s your coat, may I help you with your bags?
Oh, let me get the door for you and please watch your step.
Don’t forget, my name is Steve and I hope to see you again soon! Please ask for me when you come back next time.
Goodnight and have a safe trip my friend.

►This article is adapted from the author’s book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter”.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


  1. Quite honestly, I would be really annoyed if a store did that with me and would likely not return if I didn’t absolutely have to. I went there to purchase an item not to make friends, not to see if there was someone I wanted to bring home for dinner. This kind of advice needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.

    When a customer appears chatty and fully engaged, that’s when it makes sense to pour on the extrovert. But when the customer barely makes eye contact and utters the minimum number of words, that is a huge sign that says “Please don’t enter my quiet world.”

  2. Annie, as the author of this article, I appreciate your feedback and respect your viewpoint. But if we are to extrapolate your point are we to assume that a business should not display a genuine show of appreciation to their customers? Or only to those that are also outgoing or an extrovert?

    Yes, as I stated in the article, we shouldn’t hire high school cheerleaders to wave a pom pom in their face, but a warm sincere smile and thanks plus whatever assistance necessary will, I suspect, make a vast majority of customers happy and reinforce that they appreciate your business.

    Even for the introvert customer, don’t they also want to feel appreciated? I believe so.

    Thanks for your comment.


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