Smiling coaches to descend on first Belgian shopping mall

It’s never happened before in Belgium, but at the Waasland Shopping Mall in Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders) smiling coaches are being deployed to get sales assistants to smile more readily.

A professional team of smiling coaches will hope to improve the country’s sad record.  At present only one in seven Belgian sales assistants actually smiles when they meet a customer. Figures from the Retail Experience Barometer 2019 do not bode well for the Belgian shopping experience.  It discovered that in one in five instances customers are completely ignored.

The Waasland Shopping Mall knows we can do better and is deploying the team of professional smiling coaches.  They will operate as mystery shoppers and screen sales assistants with regard to their verbal greeting, eye contact and their smile or lack of one.

“Our retailers will receive a score based on the smiling coach’s visit” says the mall’s Toon De Meester. “The coaches will drop by six times a year and the retailer with the best points will receive a trophy.”

The best smile is a natural smile apparently.

Toon De Meester: “We want our customers to be received in the friendliest way possible and are aiming at a greeting that in 100% of cases includes a smile.”