I just came from a restaurant where I was powerfully reminded of the importance of an often elusive piece of business success – great customer service. For me, it’s like the elephant in the middle of the room. So many companies flout their extraordinary customer service yet deliver the opposite. I’m particularly puzzled about this, especially in our current economic climate. The bottom line is that all things being equal, people will go where they’re treated the best.
It seems like such low hanging fruit. If you say that you deliver great customer service then you should do it. But perhaps it’s more complex than this? If you google ‘customer service’ you come up with all sorts of sites giving ‘top ten’ types lists of customer service. A few even mention the workplace environment as being a key piece of the puzzle. It is this latter piece where I’ve observed many businesses flounder. For some reason, taking care of it’s employees, or ‘walking the talk’, seems to be a difficult thing for some businesses to master.
Treat your employees well. It helps to think of them as your internal customers and they need regular doses of appreciation. In Appreciation on a Shoestring I outline a number of ways to do this effectively with little or no budget.
It is the tone and content of the day-to-day interactions that you share with your team that build a place where people like to come to work. Treat your employees like you want your customers to be treated. Chances are they will then have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating employees with the same regard that you’d like them to show customers should be of equal importance.
If you really want to rise above the competition, stand out by creating a place where your team feels genuinely valued.