Don't you love it when someone more popular makes your point for you? Well, thank you Simon Sinek for doing just that last week.
For those that missed it, his words on LinkedIn were short and to the point - "Customers will love a company when the employees love it first" (link HERE).
The post attracted 90k likes and 1600 comments (probably a few more than I would get). As you'd expect with any social media post there were some lovers and some haters. Some elaborated on his point with another 100+ words and utterly destroyed it. Some just tried to start an argument with someone else.
Regardless, the point resonated with me. Your employees SHOULD be the greatest ambassadors of your business. If they love your company and their job, they will project that positivity to your customers. Nothing will be too much trouble and everything will be done with a smile. In short, your customers will get a great experience.
Or: great eNPS = great NPS
Great customer experience matters in every business, but in some businesses the interactions with people matter more than others.
One person commented in the feed that "I have never met a happy Amazon employee". This could be true of their experience, but I don't think all Amazon employees are unhappy. Amazon is not relying on employees alone to deliver exceptional customer service. They've built thousands of touchpoints into their shopping experience that don't involve human interaction. Even if my delivery driver is miserable as sin, it's likely I won't care because I found my product, ordered it and had it delivered in 24 hours (#lastminutechristmasshopping).
McDonalds is another great example. Consistency in the 7 P's of service marketing - price, product, place, promotion, physical evidence, process and people - makes it difficult to have a bad experience. The first 6 of these have been taken out of the hands of the person working in the restaurant. The last one - people- is the only one that can go wrong. If the person is amazing it's fairly forgettable. If they're bad it's also fairly forgettable. In short, the front of house person is such a nominal part of the entire experience, the customer can forgive McDonalds quickly because everything else was as expected.
But businesses like Amazon and McDonalds are the exception to the rule. Most businesses rely a lot on the experience that the customer has with an employee. Any business that sells a person's time (solicitor, accountant, recruiter etc.) is pretty much 100% highly reliant on their employee. Their people must portray the values of the company every day to deliver a great, consistent service.
Hybrid companies such as software businesses are the same. They may have a great product, but if the customer success and support functions disappear, then customers get very upset, very quickly.
Here's our top tips to make sure your employees help your customers feel the love....
1. Listen - have a way to tap into how your employees feel about the service they are delivering. Understand what they love about your products and services, and what makes their jobs harder. Identify what support they need.
2. Empathise - make it clear you’ve heard their feedback and you can understand their point of view. Build trust into your feedback process and give your teams a say in how things get done.
3. Feedback - let them know what you are going to do next. What action do you intend to take, by when and how.
4. Action - JFDI.
5. Repeat - create this feedback loop regularly. By doing this, you’ll build engagement & trust in your organisation. As well as quickly being able to identify blockers and bottlenecks.
To conclude, customer-facing teams in ALL businesses help you retain and attract customers.
Listening to the people that own the relationships with the customer puts you in a great position to keep doing better.
In some businesses your people could be 100% of why they choose to be your customer. In others it might be less than 1%. Regardless, an extra 1% could equate to a big difference in profitability. A bad experience could destroy your reputation and cause your customers to leave in droves.
At Space HR, we help organisations capture employee feedback to improve their business performance.
We’ve created specific surveys for customer services teams, designed to do a deep-dive into what is driving, or holding back success for these critical teams. If you’d like to see how we can help super-charge your customer teams - get in touch. You can email us at email@example.com.