The Smile Factor


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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 7.5 hours on a weekday. Excluding weekends, this means the average person spends 1,950 hours at work in a year. In a previous post, we discussed the integral connection between the happiness of both employees and customers. A happy employee means a happy customer.

With technological advances, it would be easy for us to instruct our clients to conduct detailed surveys to gauge company morale. Dozens of websites automate the survey process for a low cost, but we don’t. Why? Because we believe there is a vast body of evidence that shows frequency of smiling is a strong measure of overall happiness and well-being. Instead of asking your employees to analyze their subjective experiences of happiness, try counting how many times they smile in a day. Smiling is a startlingly simple answer to a million-dollar question: are your employees really happy?

Smiling is so powerful that if you purposefully decide to smile, your mood will improve – regardless of circumstance. More importantly, smile frequency correlates with emotional stability, social intelligence and extroversion. In turn, each of these factors promotes relationship building, strengthens social ties, and solidifies group cohesion.

Happiness is such a critical component of employee-customer interaction that it could be thought of as a building block for the “DNA” of customer experience. In my book of the same name, I draw from sources like Ron Gutman and his TED talk on “The Hidden Power of Smiling,” which provides an entertaining and compelling survey of our reasoning.

At some point in your life, a mentor or parent has told you that happiness starts from within. The same principle applies to the customer experience. A happy work environment (remember, it’s where you spend 1,950 hours a year) translates into happy customers. Since happiness, extroversion, and strong social networks are co-correlates, a positive work environment magnifies your incentives to promote the “smile” factor. Happy customers have the connections and social intelligence necessary to tell your company’s story to their friends and family.

Try flashing an unexpected grin at your co-worker and see what happens (we claim no responsibility for the ensuing workplace silliness).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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