by Teresa Allen
Whether you are single or married, you may need to get engaged this year! According to a recent Gallup Study on the State of the American Workplace there is a definite link between employee and customer engagement to customer growth and even to EPS. When Gallup examined engagement by job position, they found customer service employee level of engagement was among the lowest. Since these employees are handling a majority of customer service transactions, it is a safe assumption that their lack of engagement can lead to customer disconnect. Gallup found that conversely, when an organization prepares front-line employees to make an emotional customer connection, customers will spend more, visit more often, resist competitive overtures, promote your brand to others, and forgive the hopefully occasional service blunder!
Gallup also found that the result of having both employee engagement and customer engagement is more than the sum of doing those two things separately. When organizations successfully engage their customers and their employees, they experience an astounding 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes compared with organizations who do neither.
These numbers are hard to ignore. So what are the actions that should be on the top of every organization’s list in trying to achieve employee and customer engagement?
1. Management and employees must realize that EVERY employee plays a role.
Whether an employee works directly with customers or not, they MUST understand how their specific responsibility piece fits into the customer puzzle.
2. Every employee should understand how they can be a brand ambassador.
In order to be effective brand ambassadors employees must:
– know what the organization stands for and what differentiates it in the marketplace
-understand the brand promise and be able to explain it
-be empowered to deliver on the brand promise
Gallup found that only just over 40% of employees knew what their company stood for and what made its brand different from competitors. While many executives and managers did know this, only a little over a third of front-line employees responsible for most customer service interactions did. If customer service representatives don’t have this knowledge, they obviously cannot be expected to communicate the points of differentiation to customers.
When planning your customer service training strategy for 2014, don’t forget that 240% number mentioned earlier. Make sure that your customer service training includes fundamental information on what you are about, what makes you different, and how each individual fits into the game plan. And don’t look at that training as an expense but rather a guaranteed investment in business growth.
Not many coaches would put their team on the bus without telling them about who they were going to play, strategic competitive advantages and disadvantages, and who was playing what position. It’s only common sense to make sure those three things are clearly identified!
customer service training or keynote sure to include these important points, give me a call. I’d love to help bring that additional 240% to your bottom line!
Let’s share strategies on this topic… post a comment on YOUR organization’s engagement strategy!
Teresa Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is often asked to speak at customer service meetings and conventions to share her expertise. To contact customer service speaker Teresa Allen, call or email at tallen@AllenSpeaks.com or call 800-797-1580. See more valuable customer service tips at www.AllenSpeaks.com. This article may be reprinted if you include this contact information.