…masks are not very customer friendly.

Health implications aside, should we be worried that face masks and coverings hide body language, writes ETN editor Liz Benwell. 

In any customer-facing situation – especially when selling or giving advice - the encouraging smile or tight-lipped purse of disapproval says far more than words. 

Occasionally, when there’s a grimace or smirk for example, it’s not a bad thing to keep it under wraps. But on the whole, spotting visual clues ensures nothing beats being face-to-face for good communication.

Yes, many people smile with their eyes; while others simply look shifty. But a smile can soothe, and smooth over a misunderstanding. Only by seeing the whole face can one build empathy and establish rapport.

It’s likely that we’re going to have to get used to wearing face coverings – and steamed up glasses – for some time to come; especially in business settings. Maybe donning one will soon become second-nature, like buckling up in the car or wearing a riding hat?

So, are transparent masks the answer? A quick internet search reveals see-through versions for deaf people (so they can lip read) and others for medical use. Apparently, a lot of black humour goes on in operating theatres where miscommunication can lead to errors… 

So, is anyone in our industry supplying transparent masks at reasonable cost? They would look good on the jockeys and handlers at televised race meetings… And I have a new lipstick at the ready…

Image by melli666 from Pixabay