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Using the 10/6 Rule (and practicing Social Distancing)

And even during this time, it is still important to use this because if not, it doesn’t start the customer experience on the right foot.

So, what is it? It’s pretty simple, but often not practiced. Case in point.

While there are not many places to go right now, I was able to safely head to an establishment to take care of some financial business the other day. 3 staff in the building with one of them helping a customer. One staff person was on the phone, the other on her computer.

I show up and no one acknowledges me – (this is the “10” in the rule)- at 10ft. away, please acknowledge a customer or guest by making eye contact, smiling and letting them know that you see that they are there.

Well…that didn’t happen from any of the three staff…for about 3 minutes. All of them saw me, as I was only 10 feet away, and only the staff member, who was with the customer, by the way, finally looked up and acknowledged me.

Finally, after about 5 minutes (yes, I timed it), the “5” in the rule happened- I was greeted and welcomed, with a smile…but with also an apology. “Sorry for the wait, how can I help you?”

Yes, they provided the service I needed, but I left there with a feeling of “they don’t care that much about me.” “I’m just another customer to them”.

Even during these times- use Hospitality- making that personal connection with someone and practice the now “10/6” rule-

10ft. away- acknowledge the customer or guest with a warm smile, great eye contact and with a quick gesture that says I know you are there.

6ft. away- Greet them with a friendly greeting, sincere smile, and a welcome to let them know you value their business. (No handshakes at this time- sorry!)

Here is what you are telling them by practicing this technique on a consistent basis.

  • First, you’re smiling at them when you acknowledge them. This is crucial as it immediately puts the customer at ease.

  • Then by making the eye contact, you are saying to them (without saying a word) is “I see you and I’m looking forward to assisting you.

  • What you are also saying is – “You’re important to me, and I want to take care of your needs.

  • And then when I greet you and use words that are in a great tone you are showing empathy, respect, and consideration for them

  • And if you know their name, and use it in the greeting, that makes it even more personalized for you as a customer. Studies have been done that have shown that the most important words people like to hear at times…is their own name.

Just think that all of these are accomplished with just two simple gestures- the acknowledgment and the greeting. Both of these start off the customer experience on the right foot as they are the first steps to being in the “hospitality business”. You are making that personal connection with your guest, prospect, or customer simply by seeing that they are there, right in front of you.

Bob Pacanovsky is a Keynote Speaker and Strategic Trainer

who works with organizations to attract and retain more clients and employees for your organizations to deliver The Black Tie Experience!

To learn more, and to book Bob contact him:

Call (330) 352-6084 or email

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