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Keep smiling...

Click the image to see original article

Dear Editor:

Please tell Mr. Vellerand and Mr. Dore that wasting our tax money on bureaucrats, advertising agencies, cutsie logo design, brochures, press conferences, paid media campaigns, buttons and other "feel good" publicity to promote friendliness towards tourists is totally misdirected. People on the street will smile with pleasure if we deal with the front of the line first.

I submit a very simple effective idea, targeted right at the pockets of retailers, restaurants and others working directly with the public. Lack of motivation and an underestimation of the individuals importance in customer relations is deeply scarring the economically crippled tourist industry. The secret of success is making a direct connection between customer service attitudes and personal income or expense.

"Keep Us Smiling" and its equivalent campaign in French is offered for every Quebecer and tourists' participation.

Here's how it works... If, for example, in a restaurant or store the cashier or server is not pleasant or doesn't smile, customers (as king) are "authorized" to bring this to the attention of the employee. They might say "a loonie or a smile" or "smile for a cause" or 'Yip or Treat," or some other friendly disarming comment your readers may come up with.

At this point, the employee who forgot to recognize the customer with a smile is obligated to reach into their pocket and pull out a quarter or a loonie, or perhaps their entire tip, and deposit it in the charity box located near virtually every cash register.

The substantial reward for employees who were smiling all along are bigger tips, return customers, and more secure jobs.

Can you imagine how quickly service industry people would catch on? How happy and supportive of the program the many charities would be? And ultimately, how impressed the tourists would be with our re-discovered friendliness, generosity toward our needy and most important, those infectious smiles that will keep them coming back?

Best of All, Mr. Vellerand and Mr. Dore, this idea is my freely given gift to Montreal's 350th....in exchange for your smiles.

Philip McMaster
McMaster Media Marketing

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