5 Ways to Inspire Employees to Deliver a Great Customer Experience
The customer experience has always been a driver for business success, but in the era of social media, this is truer than ever. Owners are invested and driven to achieve success, but how do they get their staff to give the same effort? Inspiring staff to give their best is the key to institutionalizing high quality customer experience and here are some tips for achieving it.
1. Connect to each employee
Owners are busy, there is no doubt, so keeping employee connection to group meetings is a natural thing to do, but does not create the best motivation for employees. Some can feel alone or insignificant and, therefore, will carry that into the workplace. Setting time to meet with each employee will show them that they are important and that we care. Offer direct praise when they do something that we want and take time to personally coach when they are lacking in areas. All employees will respond well to individual attention and our customers will know the difference between those who are just doing a job and those who create a positive experience.
2. Show through leadership
Age old advice just as true today as it ever will be. We pass the vision for our business down to employees and expect them to make it happen, but will they? Without getting down off the throne and working side by side with our staff, an owner will often not know where there are challenges or efficiencies.
Small business management requires getting dirty to discover these areas so they can be addressed. Also, working side by side with our staff emotionally bonds them to us and our vision. This emotional bond is what drives their actions to be excellent. When they see us doing what they do, with intention, care, and good spirit, they will be more inclined to do the same and this will translate into greater customer loyalty. It is also important to know when to let employees take over. Being able to dig in and do the work is not the same as micro-managing or not being able to assign responsibility to someone else.
3. Opportunity for Advancement
Opportunity for promotions are a huge way to inspire staff to a higher level of output, but not all businesses have the capability to promote. Often a small business can create discord with their employees for promoting one over the other.
It is important to know that advancement does not necessarily require promotion. A small raise for work done well is also effective. So is offering an employee the opportunity to lead a project or even continuing education. When an employee advances in any of these ways, they feel that their life has more purpose and meaning and leads to better spirits in the workplace. Without a doubt, an employee in good spirits will inspire all employees to perform better and provide a higher level of customer support.
4. Social Engagement
We crave connection. Connecting to each employee individually is important for letting them know we care, but employees connecting to each other is what creates the fabric of the workplace culture. It is this workplace culture that is the context for the customer service experience that will translate into more repeat visits and a more successful business.
Do not try to make everyone best friends as this is impossible work and often does not serve the business. What is important is that they connect in ways that increase their bond. Having events where they get together in activities where they depend on each other in a fun way is great for bonding. If events are too much, simply having a communications platform, like slack, where they are encouraged to chat with each other helps, especially if they don’t work shifts together. They will be more apt to help each other cover shifts in case of illness or time off. They will also be more capable of providing assistance to each other in case you are unavailable. Over time, this develops into great working relationships that translate into small business success.
5. Business Transparency
Your employees knowing more about your business is huge in inspiring them to take ownership. It is not our success that inspires as much as overcoming the challenges we face along the way. Sharing the challenges and victories, the strengths and weaknesses of your business helps them to connect to the reality of the business needs. It also provides them a framework of knowing how to leverage strengths and where to redirect away from weaknesses. These little things, only discovered through transparency, do far more than any training possibly could. They set the contexts for the staff to understand where the business came from, where it is, and where it is going. This helps them to plug in more dynamically to help achieve the business’s goals.
Creating high level customer experience is more than crafting a customer experience strategy. It is getting all of the people who represent your company inspired to drive towards that goal. If you have connected to your employees on an individual level, shown leadership, given pathways to advancement, and connected them to each other in an environment of transparency, you have many of the ingredients that make a great team that will deliver a high level customer experience. It is these positive experiences that lead to success, especially in the era of social media where your customers will then share how awesome your business is with their friends and family.