Investing in Customer Service Starts with Employees

Investing in employees is key to consistently deliver exceptional customer service. Improving service quality and productivity can be achieved by improving employee morale and motivation.

Here are some ways to help achieve this:

  • Hire the right people – Focus on personality, those who show interest, enthusiasm and have a passion with working with people.  Ask the candidate to describe a time when a situation did not go as planned and how they communicated the negative news to the customer.
  • Survey customers on a regular basis – Find out what your customers think your employees are doing well and what they are lacking. The most effective way is to call customers directly and ask open ended questions for the best qualitative answers.  Analyze existing records or reports of customer complaints for trends. Survey results are an excellent motivational tool for employees.
  • Training – Employees require continuous training in order to be fully educated to deliver the best solutions to customers.  Consider lunch and learn training sessions.  The company flips the bill for lunch and trains employee’s on new products, services or procedures. Create a role playing workshop with real-life situations and discuss how situations could be diffused or handled differently. Employees that are continually trained helps build confidence when interacting with customers.
  • Meetings – Schedule regular meetings with your customer service team and ask employees prior to the meeting if their are issues that they would like to be included.  In the meeting , don’t limit time to just talk about business related issues, but take time to talk to your team on a personal level like finding out how they spent their weekend. This helps employees feel valued and cared about. The more you learn about employees personally can best help in relating and understanding fellow co-workers which in turn creates a well connected team.
  • Empowering employees – Don’t let employees get shoved into a corner without options when working with customers in delicate customer service situations.  Give employees a list of scenarios or tips on how to best handle customer interactions that pertain to the business allowing them to make informed decisions and provide exceptional service,  but ultimately let employees do what is required to satisfy a customer even if it does mean bending the rules from time to time.
  • Design an incentive program – Incentive programs can help employees enjoy their jobs more and happy employees tend to be more productive and work well with each other and customers.  Incentives must be significant and of perceived value to the employee. Have employees compose a list of rewards and vote on a rewards they would like to receive. Most importantly set goals based on performance objectives of the company that are both measurable and obtainable. 

When companies invest in their employees it shows that they care.  Invest in employees and employees will reinvest in their jobs.

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2 responses to “Investing in Customer Service Starts with Employees

  1. You hit many key areas here. Investing in employees established value in what you do and what you stand for as an organization. This is very important right now due to the time we are in with regard to the recent economic downturn. Now that it’s on a slow uphill climb, we are seeing more and more talent venture off to either explore new career paths or start their own business. Great post… thank you for letting me read this.

  2. Geoff – Thanks for your comments. I agree, if employee’s do not feel engaged, valued and motivated they tend to veer away from the nest.

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