“Remember, no matter how good your feedback is, you always start over with the next customer.”
Do you ever reflect on the impact of customer experience on your company culture?
I am guessing most of you reflect on the fact that the interactions your team have with customers impact your customers, but do you consider how it impacts your employee engagement?
If we know that social interactions are at an all time low, causing happiness to be lower for most people, do you see the opportunity to not only impact your customers happiness, but also the opportunity to impact the happiness of your employees?
When you create a culture at work that expects social interactions, you are creating the opportunity to increase happiness. This is an amazing opportunity for businesses to make a big impact on their teams. Science has shown that people who look up a hill see it as less steep and less challenging when they are looking up that hill with a friend just a few feet away.
Work, is also a big hill, one that needs to be climbed every day. If we can create a workplace where “friends” are always beside us, suddenly the challenging becomes more bearable. Engagement in tasks becomes more desired and customer experience increases simply because our employees happiness is up.
This can become a reality by encouraging a customer service centered culture. Here are three easy ways to create that culture and encourage increased sociability in the workplace.
Make the Unexpected Expected
Sadly, I don’t expect to be greeted by a store clerk in most experiences anymore. However, when I am I love it! When did the expectations that you would be greeted with a hello and casual conversation end? Simple friendliness goes a long way. Have an expectation of your team that they say hello to customers when they pass. Have an expectation that they carry on casual conversation when they are in a position to do so. These simple things serve two purposes. 1- It increases the customer experience and creates a different level of relationship between customer and business, and relationships always win out. However, 2- it also increases your employee engagement. When you create an environment where this is encouraged, you will increase your employee’s connection to happiness with the work place!
Have an expectation that when your employees are within 10 feet of a customer they smile and if they are within 2 feet of a customer, they say hello. This allows for general friendliness to ensue for the customer experience, however it has a second purpose; it forces people to be present. If you are expected to interact with customers when they are within 10 feet of you, you can’t be walking with your head down, or reading a message on your phone. You actually need to have your head up, eyes open and be looking for interactions to be had!
Make the Customer the Priority
When you instill a service culture in your organization, you are saying “the customer takes priority”. Unfortunately, there are too many experiences where you have to wait for two employees to finish a conversation before they prioritize the customer. This can be one of the road blocks with creating a culture that is social. Balancing who to be social WITH first. When you are creating the culture, you need to ensure the expectation is clear, fun can happen, but NEVER at a customer’s expense or time. In today’s competitive world, business can be got elsewhere, very easily. Show the customer, how important their business is by making them a priority, especially in a bricks and mortar environment. Keep in mind that if employees are having fun at work, customers will experience that fun as well. It does not need to be one or the other, it just needs to be managed appropriately.
Too many people are blaming poor service on “this generation”, I challenge that. Great service is happening all around us, it is a leadership gap when it is not. If you, your business, or even your child struggle to find the right customer service intention at work, it can change quite simply. Set a goal to make new “friends” each day at work, or to learn something unique about each customer and soon you will find yourself having a happier day and feeling more fulfilled at the end of it!