Today’s customer experience is changing. They’re not looking for average experiences; they’re looking for exceptional experiences. They want a reason to come back to you besides the product you are offering. What separates good and great organizations will always be exceptional customer service.
A commitment to improving your customer service has to start somewhere. Exceptional customer service begins inside your organization. If you want to deliver exceptional customer service, begin with your employees instead of your customers. An employee-centric workplace is the basis of a customer-centric organization.
Here is the real truth when it comes to customer service in any business: Employees will treat your customers exactly the way you treat them. If your employees are cared for and happy, they will focus and deliver great customer service. You as a leader have to show employees the value and impact of what they do every day.
If there’s a disconnect, then we as leaders, haven’t done a good enough job in sharing our brand promise, engaging them and giving them the proper tools so they can be exceptional customer service providers.
Developing a customer-centric culture within your organization doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t sustainable if there isn’t buy-in from each and every department, from the corner office to shipping and receiving. Leading a culture of service starts at the top and is made a priority throughout the entire organization every single day.
There is a reason why companies such as Marriott, Disney, and Zappos are researched and excel at customer service. They developed a strong company cultures and are relentlessly focused on creating a top-notch customer experience. Each of these companies’ offers very different products but share a common purpose to taking care of their employees in order to deliver the best customer service experiences.
So what can we do get started with our employees and our culture? Here’s 5 basic steps to increase engagement in the workplace and make your employees happier:
Set Service Goals for your employees
Every organization has goals, but beyond the corporate goals, every customer service representative needs something to aspire to in order to deliver the best customer service. Many organizations in the hospitality field have brand standards. The can provide the performance standard of service in each area of your business, but you need a better buy-in from your employees. They need to have a stake in the outcome. As a leader, take the time to focus on their goals and mentor them to set SMART service standard beyond average.
Train, empower and coach for growth
Investing in your employees has a positive return on investment. The more you develop them to their full potential, they more they will feel appreciated and valued. As a result, they will do the same for your customers. As a leader, one of your responsibilities is to create a culture of growth. Training and development should not be a one-time event. It should be on-going. Those moments can be great opportunities for coaching and mentoring your employees to polish their skills or even learn a new one.
Take time to listen to their feedback and ideas
On-going communication is critical for creating a positive and supporting working environment. Transparency and daily intentional communication builds trust. One of the best ways to increase engagement it to make sure you take the time to actively listen to your employees, let them know that their voices matter. Don’t forget to take action and follow up on their concerns. Your employees might have really valuable information that can contribute to the success of your business.
Employee satisfaction as a key driver of higher customer satisfaction and repeat business. How do you keep your employees happy and engaged? If your company’s vision is to create a better customer experience, the best place to start is with your employees. If you only focus only the end result of improving customer service without revitalizing your company’s culture, any real effort would be short lived.
On the other hand, if you make a commitment and focus on creating a culture that is supportive, engaging, and empowering, the natural product of happy employees will be improved customer service.