Falak Hyat (November 13, 2014)
Companies often spend millions of dollars to increase value for customers and build loyalty. While this is critical for a company’s sustainability and growth, it is also as important to look after company employees, who will be the ones looking after the customers. If employees love the company and are happy to work for it, the result will clearly reflect in the way they treat customers and as a result, the way the customers feel about the company. Agitated and bored staff are quite likely to not give their hundred percent in providing quality customer service, as compared to motivated and happy employees, who are eager to please and bring smiles to the customers.
Taking the initiative of screening employees when hiring them and picking out the driven and focused candidates is the responsibility of the company. The basic foundations must be set for selecting employees who can contribute to the company’s culture and work with the rest of the team in delivering the end goal, of satisfactory customer service and happy customers.
Keep your company requirements in perspective when interviewing a pool of candidates and test them on critical reasoning and problem solving, to see how they will interact with customers and help solve their issues. Special attention should be given to communication skills, taking confidence level into strong consideration. You are looking for people who can tackle problems and take control of the situation, turning it into a positive experience for the customer. Motivated employees with the eagerness to contribute and those who are proactive in delivering delightful experiences, are the candidates you should choose for your organization and especially for the customer service front.
Once the employees have been hired by the panel and are now representing your company, it becomes necessary to invest in them and improve their skills by proper training and skill enhancement. The initial few weeks must be spent training the employee and explaining the organization culture and values of the company to them.
Communication skills and body language is a must to master, if dealing with customers and the front desk. It is not simple and easy to handle complaints or grumpy customers, who come to the office or call in, with a terrible mood or a difficult situation. Strategic customer management is a skill and takes a lot of knack from the employee’s end, to handle swiftly.
Praising employees for good performance or achieving their goals is essential for employee retention and more importantly employee motivation. Motivated employees, who know their efforts and hard work are appreciated and rewarded, are always eager to excel and perform better. This reflects in their day to day work, and the positive energy is translated into the way they manage and deal with customers. That’s why they say, what goes around the office comes around to the customer.
Incentives and awards can also be part of a company’s strategy to enhance employee satisfaction and increase work productivity.
Another important factor to have in mind is to keep the employees involved in the bigger picture of the company. Despite the fact that it is vital to have higher management making strategies and techniques for customer service, it is also important to give employees the freedom to make decisions to a certain point. Time shouldn’t be wasted by constantly referring back to seniors for their opinions on each and every decision.
When given freedom to make decisions on behalf of the company, the employees act more responsibly and proactively because they feel in power and hence want to ensure a smooth customer experience and add another happy customer to the company.
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