During my customer service career, I have seen many reminders advising employees to “Wow the customer!” It’s important to “Wow” the customer as this is a surefire way to increase customer retention. What about employee retention? I think it’s critical to “Wow!” the employee first. An organization’s ability to “Wow!” its employees has multiple impacts to the level of service provided to the customer. Money and benefits are not always the primary drivers of employee retention. Here are a few ways to “Wow!” employees:
“Wow!’ Employees With Great Core Values – Core values are the guiding principles by which an organization determines how it will operate. Wow your employees by including integrity in the core values so that it’s apparent that everyone is held accountable for the actions. True integrity includes communicating honestly with your employees. It also means making agreements that you can keep. Wow your employees by making sure that respect is one of your organization’s core values so that they know that they will be treated as someone who has something to contribute to the organization’s success regardless of their position. Make sure that they are spoken to in a professional and respectful manner at all times.
“Wow!” Employees With Comprehensive Training – It’s important for employees to “Wow!” the customer during interactions. “Wow!” your employees by providing comprehensive and practical training. Make sure employees have the “tools” required for providing a great customer service experience. These “tools” should include the proper product/service knowledge to assessment customer needs, to answer customer questions and to resolve customer issues. Make sure your employees are product/service “experts”. Another “tool” is hands-on training with whatever they will utilize when interacting with the customer. Make sure they thoroughly understand who/what their actions impact when performing their duties as well as understanding who/what impacts their functions. This step creates an awareness of how their actions will impact others within the organization as well as understanding how others’ actions impact them.
“Wow!” Employees With Great Management – The attitude and actions of supervisors/managers are a major factor in maintaining positive employee morale and employee retention. “Wow!” your employees by making sure supervisors/managers are equipped with both people and operational skills. When your employees feel that supervisors/managers are competent in both of these areas, contentiousness and apathy are less likely to become a factor in your organization. “Wow!” your employees by driving out fear in your organization. Employees should not be the victims of intimidation or fear reprisal from supervisors/managers when raising questions and concerns. “Wow!” your employees by insuring that managers regularly solicit ideas and suggestions for improvement. Reward them for implemented ideas and suggestions. “Wow!” your employees by requiring supervisors/managers to regularly spend time with employees as they perform their duties in order to get their perspective. Regularly review workload requirements to insure they are not out of balance with performance goals. “Wow!” your employees by getting their input on performance criteria and goals.
“Wow!” Employees With Loyalty – It has been stated often that employees should be loyal to the organization. That’s a two-way street! “Wow!” your employees by displaying the same loyalty to them that you expect them to display toward the organization. Do you expect them to be loyal to the organization during times of crisis? Employees expect the organization to be loyal to them during their time of crisis. When the organization asks the employee to go the extra mile for the organization, remember to reward the employee for doing so. Just as you reward your long – term customers for their loyalty to your brand (you are doing this right?), do the same for your long-term employees for their service and dedication to your organization. “Wow!” your employees by reminding them that they are the reason that your organization is successful. Yes – the customer is important to the success of your organization, but it takes great employees to take care of the customer. Your willingness to “Wow!” your employees with loyalty will certainly increase the level of service experienced by your customers!
Create a “Wow!” experience for your customers by creating a “Wow!” experience for your employees first. “Wow!” them with Core Values, Comprehensive Training, Great Management and Loyalty.