The Customer Service and Employee Relations Mirror
It’s fair to say that new employees when they are first hired generally want to impress and do a good job.
They may soon discover, however, that in order to do the job well they must rely on others within the organisation for guidance, information or materials.
Unfortunately what they need is sometimes late or incomplete or simply does not show up at all.
Eventually they may come to a sad realisation, that, despite their good intentions, there are frustration’s that may be difficult to overcome and maybe it doesn’t seem to pay to care too much about doing a good job.
The more they care, the more frustrating it is, so they stop caring.
They train themselves to stop caring.
They decide it’s a whole lot easier to show up and put in the time, to patiently wait for the next coffee break, the next weekend and the next holiday.
For many people making a living entails spending day after day in tedious seemingly pointless activity.
These are the army of perfectly capable employees who have simply stopped caring and have cut themselves off emotionally from their work.
These are some of the internal customers of the business and often despite all the fine leadership words about staff being the greatest resource the philosophy may not be delivered in the day to day realities of the workplace.
So how well do Frontline Managers, in your business, deliver customer service to a valuable group of internal customers called staff?
Staff have needs and expectations, just like external customers, and when their needs are not satisfied, they abandon the business just as surely as external customers do.
They may quit and leave but, far worse; many just quit and stay.
Sometimes they becoming too de-motivated to look for a better employer and they quit emotionally but still remain on the payroll.
They become very expensive non‑contributors and non-performers and have the ability to turn the company into a non-profit organisation.
Just as we want customers to see our business as a preferred supplier, we want internal customers (staff) to see us as the preferred employer.
Often there is a need to upgrade the total experience of an employee and apply the principles of customer service to these important internal customers.
If you have a customer charter it’s likely to be full of great concepts to keep customers happy.
“We value our customers and treat them with dignity and respect, they are allowed to complain and be listened to, to be given confidentiality, accurate information and kept informed about their issues and circumstances”. Etc…
Most of us would respect and value these fine words; however they are exactly the qualities employees want from the boss.
Company leadership at all levels, needs to articulate and live the ethos of customer service, so employees will perceive customer service as a positive opportunity rather than simply a ‘feel good’ public relation’s campaign.
Creating a positive climate for customer service means demonstrating concerns for employees.
It means enhancing the self-esteem and dignity of staff and solving their problems quickly and fairly.
It means developing a range of human resource policies that employees view favourably, whether it’s hiring, promotion, benefits or remuneration.
If employees feel that these policies are positive, they will deliver service that the customer will also see as positive.
For progressive companies, customer service training is essential internal marketing.
Training needs to be as effective, well planned and executed and supported at all levels, as with any external promotional campaign.
Further as with any serious marketing campaign it needs to be high quality, ongoing, practical and structured to increase the self-worth of service people at all levels of the organisation.
Highly effective programs on Service Excellence, Managing Customer Strategy and “Managing People for Results” are delivered by Brian Greedy and available to be tailored to the exact needs of your business.