A study this week reveals that over a quarter of Londoners said they felt lonely often or all of the time and that a third of them didn’t even know who their neighbours were – doesn’t apply to me, as we have no neighbours living on a farm in the middle of nowhere!!
So, the London Underground brought in the “Tube-chat” badge. It’s a badge that commuters on the underground can wear to start a conversation with another passenger to show that they’re open for a chat.
The badge removes every bit of stigma around ‘what if they don’t want to talk?’ ‘what if I get the silent treatment?’ ‘what if they hate me?’ and the thousand different questions that rattle around your mind before you start talking to someone.
A study in the Experimental Journal of Psychology reported that the pleasure of connection seemed contagious and in a laboratory waiting room, participants who were talked to had equally positive experiences as those instructed to talk.
Yet there are nearly 10,000,000 results in Google for ‘fear of talking to strangers’. The fear of judgement, of being found out or criticised, fills everyone’s stomach with dread.
It’s the same with your customers (well most of them!!) – they like to be spoken to and welcome conversations. Ok perhaps not all of them have the time to speak to you, but those that do, often welcome it and feel as if they are valued customers!
When you get an enquiry or an email asking for information – do you call up the person or conduct a video chat? Or is it all by email exchange? I know what I do, and it’s a mixture of calling and emailing, depending on whether I can get through on the phone, and if i can’t yet they respond to my email, then i converse via email – but everyone is different, and we have to move outside our comfort zones – I am trying to 😁
As the old BT advert used to say “It’s good to talk” and it seems that the citizens of London are getting back on board with that saying.
So why not take a leaf out of the undergrounds book, summon up your courage and clear some time to give a customer a call today, keep those relationships strong and ensure your customers feel that you value them!!