I know sometimes it sounds like a broken record to talk about employee engagement. Truth is, for all of the conversation, it doesn’t appear that organizations are moving the needle. Gallup has been tracking employee engagement since 2000 and, for the most part, the numbers have stayed pretty consistent. Less than one-third of employees are engaged in their work.
However, I believe the best argument for why organizations need to make employee engagement a priority might be today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos.
Let’s face it. We love good customer service. Even when companies make mistakes, we’re secretly hoping they make it right.
Now I will not lie. I love a good sale. But sale prices come and go. There’s only so much frustration I will take for a good sale. On the other hand, for good service…I will spend more. I’m a sucker for a good upsell.
That’s why organizations need to make employee engagement a priority. Engaged employees deliver excellent customer service. There are plenty of people out there just like me who will spend more to be treated well. And spend even more with a good upsell. That’s how organizations make money, increase market share, and dominate their industry.
The question becomes, are organizations making the connection between engagement and customer service? Here are a few things to consider:
Every employee should receive customer service training. No matter what role you have in the organization, you have a customer. Employees would benefit from a little customer service training during orientation or onboarding. Make sure employees understand the lifetime value of a customer and their role in customer service success.
Empower employees to handle mistakes quickly and efficiently. I’m amazed when employees have to ask for permission to write off less than $5. Especially when the lifetime value of a customer is $20,000. I understand that organizations don’t want to give employees carte blanche, but working parameters can and should be set.
Share customer stories throughout the organization. I once worked for a company that kept track of how many customer letters they received. Their goal was to receive two good letters for every bad one. And we did. But it took sharing stories from customers, so employees understood the type of great customer service that would make someone write a letter.
Reward and recognize excellent service. Acknowledge the behavior that you want to see. If employees do something fantastic for a customer, let them know. They will do it again. Don’t make the assumption that the customer will thank the employee for excellent service. It’s true – they will. But the company needs to do it too.
Bottom-line: Engaged employees deliver excellent customer service. And excellent customer service translates into better business.