- Frustration: Fist-like gestures, wringing hands, pointing the index finger, taking short breathes.
- Evaluation: Hand-to-cheek gestures, head tilted, stroking the chin, pacing.
- Confidence: Steepling the hands, joining hands behind the back.
- At Blue Smoke restaurants in New York City, the customer who makes strong eye contact with the server is assumed to want deferential treatment, while the shy customer is assumed to desire reassurance.
- At Cheesecake Factory, servers look for people who are pushing food around on the plate, which is taken to be a red flag that this diner could be displeased with the meal. That’s the signal to go ask.
The real value in having a manual or a code list is in reminding retail staff body language does make a difference, getting staff to notice, and bringing to conscious awareness what most of us have already been able to sense from birth. We’re genetically equipped to decode posture and gestures.
This value extends to retail staff noticing what their own body language projects. Your shoppers love being served by experts. In fact, they judge the salesperson’s expertise even before the two start talking. The salesperson’s body language says a lot as the prospective customer asks, “How much does this salesperson look like somebody I’d like to be?”
The same value can be achieved by having a few mirrors in the shopping area and encouraging staff to compare notes on their experiences in reading body language. Actually, that’s even more valuable than a simple list because valid interpretations of body language require noticing patterns rather than isolated indicators. Fist-like gestures could mean fatigue or anger instead of frustration.
It is in the combination of musical notes and harmonies rather than in a single sound that we recognize the melody.
Click below for more:
Extrapolate to Discern Shopper Intentions
Lie in Wait for Lying Shoppers
Have Staff Who Show and Share Expertise