As any true leader knows, customer service is key is almost any business, and a company’s reputation on how they treat their customers can make or break any business. This is the reason why so many sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor or Consumer Reports and Amazon’s reviews have lead the charge for what consumers choose to spend their money on. However not all businesses get starred reviews with accompanying text. Your business may solely depend on how you customers are treated and nothing else. Therefore, the absolute best customer service is imperative, and sources say the best way to treat your customers, is to treat your employees.
Always treat your employees as the valuable members of your team that they are, never as just another body that can be replaced, factor on a spreadsheet, or column on the payroll. By treating them a certain way, you will immediately start to see service from the heart. Because your employees will care more about the company they are serving, they will provide the customer service your employees all crave. Aside from providing fair pay, humane and generous benefits, and a safe and pleasant working environment, there are also some ways that a company and its leadership can provide service to its employees that will specifically aid those employees in providing great service to their customers. In honor of Customer Service Week, leading customer service consultant Micah Solomon suggests five:
- Be compassionate. How can you expect an employee to show warmth and empathy to your customers if you’re docking your employees’ time for unexpected childcare issues, if you’re timing their bathroom breaks, and so forth?
- Stop second-guessing frontline employees’ every decision. Give them the power to act on behalf of the customers as best they know how.
- Give employees input into the design of their jobs. To whatever extent employees are constrained inwhat they need to get done,still involve them in how it is done. I mean this on both a micro and macro level. On the micro-level, let them infuse their own style in their emails, their phone support, how they design their cubicle. On the macro level, involve them in decisions that will affect their workday: because who knows better than how to do the work than the people who do it every day?
- Celebrate your employees. When they do something great for the customer, give them a “huzzah,” hold tem up as an example to their co-workers. Brag about them at your town hall meetings and in the company newsletter.
- Don’t penalize employees when they make a judgment call that ends up going south–As long as their decision was in favor of the customer. If the employee ultimately got the call wrong/got taken advantage of, spent “too much” money (whatever that means) resolving the issue, it’s just the cost of doing business. You can’t have your employees provide fantastic service and simultaneously operate from a position of fear.