Have you ever been on the receiving end of bad customer service? It can often look like this: A grumpy staff/employee member ignores you, treats you dismissively, acts in an unprofessional manner and makes you question why you selected the firm/business in the first place. Sometimes a bad employee is just a bad employee. But often, rude, unhelpful and unproductive staff members are a signal that the firm has failed to motivate them to care about the firm. And, it is extremely important to remember that poor staff members and their bad attitudes can be infectious! In addition, disengaged staff can have a negative impact on almost every aspect of your business, including customer satisfaction, staff turnover and profitability.
So how do you lead your staff to feel pride in their work and carry out excellent client service? Here are a few strategies:
- Empower staff to make decisions within their purview (and within the chain of command). Let them take the reins and assist with the development of their own processes and procedures. Remember that they do their job every day. Let them own it!
- Establish a forum for staff feedback and suggestions. Listen and value the suggestions of your trusted employees. Make a suggestion box. Perhaps even give a prize for the suggestion that assists your firm’s development/growth or client experience the most that year.
- Recognize and respect the work your staff do, particularly when they go above and beyond. It takes more than lip service: Award the bonuses, flex time or incentives you can afford. Remember it takes a village to give an exceptional/WOW client experience!
- Model pride in your own work, and express gratitude for your establishment, employees and customers. Let employees know you value their professionalism, and encourage them to view their job performance with pride. Your staff will generally mirror your example. But, we all like to be praised. So, if you acknowledge them openly they will most likely carry this out to their performance.
- Get them out of the office from time to time. Staff outings are an opportunity to learn, meet new people, and build team bonds. Staff retreats show how much you value your employees as a “team” rather than as just “employees”. These retreats will let them grow with you and help develop the team atmosphere within the firm. If they know the firm’s goals, they will strive to achieve them!
- As your business grows, let your employees evolve with you. Groom them to take on more responsibilities. We all want to grow. Giving each individual employee goals and the tools for development will help them do just that. You will be amazed at what it does for them and for your firm!
So when you think about that WOW client experience, think about motivated and proud staff members. If they care about the firm and feel like they are part of a team, they will be far more likely to treat each and every client like they were a family member!