Monday, May 22, 2006

Part of the great Customer Experience is the Employee

I had the privilege of reading a good blog by Glenn Ross at "The Customer Service Experience Blog". Once again he brings to the forefront a problem that is probably the main root in establishing good customer service programs and customer experience strategies, and that is the employee connection. When ever I have a chance to escape the confines of the office or home for that matter, I always take the time to probe the employees where ever we take our time to shop, eat or just relax. It could be a coffee shop, a small family business, a local manufacturer or a large upscale store with multiple departments and regardless of the country, culture, or the size of the business the patterns are the same.

Employees get the rough end and are rarely included in decision processes and their feedback goes almost always ignored. Generally the employees single out the managers as the main issue. As a consultant who usually works with these managers I will second this appraisal of the leadership from the rank and file.

The single most destructive force in any size business comes down to the managers (leadership) taking responsibility for what happens or doesn't happen in any given business, this includes manufacturing as well. Managers are more focused usually, owners too on how they look instead on how to help those below them function and work better.

When something goes wrong it is always passed down from the owner, CEO, or chairman down to the bottom. If they could blame it on the janitor they will. This is the BIGGEST flaw in the development of consistent customer service programs and strong customer service strategy development. The fact that those who should lead the way aren't allowed to lead and when those who initiated ownership of a project or policy do screw up, they blame others for not doing their job in the first place.
Every business owner and employer is responsible for seeing that there employees are happy, well trained, listened to and included in the decision making process. Managers are facilitators not dictators. Little can be done effectively in the way of customer centered policies and strategy development without the full involvement of the employee. This is especially true since they are the primary contacts at every department level and the prime implementers of all policies.

So if your customer loyalty sucks, your retention rate is somewhee south of the south pole and when you say customer service your customers say what? Tke a look at how you are inlvoving and rewarding your employees. If you want a great customer response, effective policies and outstanding performance you better look to your employees and maybe listen to them, involve them and reward them.

As always your opinions matter a great deal to us and to those who read our blog. Please feel free to share your feelings and opinions.

If you would like to learn more about customer service and customer experience strategies please visit "The Customer Development Center"

No comments: