American culture has certain social conventions in place that allow for minimum expectations in business interactions. We can call them the norms of a business meeting if you will. It is important for you to always introduce yourself with your name and ask the customer theirs. People feel more at ease in a familiar environment and by exchanging names you are removing barriers to that transactional ease.
Now that the names are out of the way, Welcome the guest SINCERELY!! I can’t stress this point enough. We hear it every single day especially in fast food or casual dining and have grown to be callous towards it because we know it is not SINCERE! Imagine if you were greeted with the following: Hi, Welcome to xyz burgers and the person is staring off into space or watching traffic go by never making eye contact, or smiling, just going thru the motions……It happens every day in every city around the world. Most of the time we don’t give it a 2nd thought because we are in a hurry and just want our food and a few minutes of peace and quiet to munch on some grindage!! We don’t care really because they don’t care!! But now imagine this “Well good afternoon sir, my name is Kim and I want to welcome you to xyz burgers. Is this your first time dining with us?” all this is done with a great smile, direct eye contact, and you actually feel well welcomed!! If it is your first visit and Kim offers some suggestions, you are probably going to listen because after all she seems so nice and polite and she really wants to help me.
You know I have been in Business for over 30 years now in sales, and sales training, management and I have over half a century as a consumer. I let me tell you something, I will go back repeatedly to restaurants, or Credit unions, or stores that have employees like Kim, because they make me feel like they appreciate my business. After all, People like to buy from people that they know, (I know her. She is my friend Kim. Right?) Like (I like her because she is so nice and friendly and helpful) and trust (remember the snap judgment thing earlier just made one here with Miss Kim too.)
Sincerity in business dealing can foster trust early in the business relationship, and very importantly if mistakes happen, they are usually quickly forgiven because you know them, you like them and trust them.
Remember introductions with names so we know each other, sincerely appreciate their choice in you today and always, maintain eye contact and above all be sincere in all phases of the transaction. If you do these things you will build customer loyalty and word of mouth with additional repeat business.