Personalized marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and active customer service programs can all be essential to keeping customers happy, but don’t forget where customer service starts: employees. Your employees are the face of your business – quite literally. And if you don’t have happy employees, chances are you won’t have happy customers either.
According to HubShout, 86% of consumers stop doing business with a company because of bad customer service. So what to do? Start investing in your employees – and it doesn’t necessarily need to be strictly financial.
A great place to start is to think of your employees as Internal Customers. After all, without them, you probably wouldn’t have a business (unless you’re a one man/woman show, in which case, start prepping for the future!). As Internal Customers, many of the same customer service rules apply. Engagement, satisfaction, and happiness are where it’s at.
Here are 3 strategies to keep your employees happy and, by extension, create a positive customer service experience for all your customers.
Employees without clear goals and priorities find it is easier to disengage from work. With a target in place, employees quickly understand what they need to do and take pride in attaining the mark. Without goals, an employee can easily slip through the gaps and maintain bad or mediocre service – even if they are clearly capable of excellence.
Create goals together, and regularly check in and provide support to ensure your employees are hitting their objectives.
The second step to keep employees engaged is to make sure there is room for advancement – both financially and hierarchically. Take an interest in each employee individually, and come up with an advancement plan together. This gives the employee joint ownership and responsibility of their own promotion. Additionally, this provides motivation to stay engaged and on task.
Make sure to set realistic expectations. Transparency is key. If your business doesn’t have availability for promotion financially, clearly state that. Instead, find other creative ways to reward your employees – special projects, paid days off, or paid training.
By creating clear structure to a job, and regularly checking in, both you and your employees will know what is expected. This means you can step back and allow them to have autonomy in their position. Nothing kills motivation like micromanagement. Give your employees room to breath. Trust your employees to do a good work, and they will appreciate the autonomy and take ownership over their own job.
While most business owners worry extensively about customer satisfaction, many forget that all customer relations start with employees. Take the time to make sure you are treating your Internal Customers as well as every other customer you have.