This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 15, 2003

Building Relationships

Wal-Mart stores have a long-established tradition of greeting customers as they walk in the door. The company typically hires senior citizens for this important position, enjoying their maturity, dedication, and sincerity in serving customers and representing the company. People shopping in Wal-Mart Stores have an expectation that, if they have questions or concerns, there will be someone right there at the front door to help them solve their problems.

We've seen other retailers follow this same practice---from restaurants to boutique shops to automobile dealers. No sales focus or other responsibilities are involved; just a warm welcome. A number of employers, particularly those with large facilities, employ greeters---to monitor security as well as foster those valuable relationships.

Does this make sense? Will more employers assign people to serve as greeters, to welcome customers and other visitors, answer questions, and solve problems? Will these employees be solely focused on this role, or will this responsibility be an additional task assumed by employees with other duties? What difference will it make?

As technology fills an increasing role in consumer interaction, customers will feel more separated from companies they do business with. This depreciation of customer-supplier relationships will erode loyalty, putting dependable revenue flow at risk. Wise employers will strengthen human-to- human interaction to build loyalty and consumer satisfaction, particularly at critical connection points like welcoming people and responding to complaints. Whenever someone may be confused about how to interact with an organization, opportunity for human contact will be especially valuable.

Union Regional Medical Center, Monroe, North Carolina, stations official greeters in the lobby next to the reception desk. These greeters add an extra welcome to what visitors already receive from the receptionists. They answer questions, solve problems, and escort people to the correct elevators, hospital services or facilities, or offices in the building.

Surprisingly, the people who perform this work, on a scheduled basis, are hospital executives and mangers. Being helped by a high level executive (yes, even the Chief Executive Officer participates) sends a clear message to visitors and employees that treating guests (and patients) well is essential. This is the future.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.