Creating customer love is the result of you and your co-workers being positive in your communications and proactive in your service. The love might simply be the result of your tone or your responsiveness that left that customer feeling more secure, more knowledgeable and more comfortable than they did before interacting with you. I think that defines customer love.
You create customer delight by the cumulative effect of delivering exceptional service to your customers, one interaction at a time.
Creating consistent exceptional experiences will create a sustainable competitive advantage and it is also something that is very hard to copy or replicate.
To create this customer love, you and everyone on your team must be committed to exceeding your customer’s expectations. You can exceed your customer’s expectations by providing them with personalized service interactions each and every time.
Here are 7 ways you can create a personalized experience for your customers that will continuously create customer love:
- Be Authentic – human beings crave authentic, personalized and hassle-free interactions
- Be Hospitable – having an attitude of being a servant is an investment that will produce returns forever
- Be Empathetic – understand and create the type of experience that your customer desires
- Be Committed – be willing to do what it takes, no matter what
- Be Competent – you must have the skills and ability to excel in your role
- Be Friendly – friendly people can create decades of loyalty
- Be Fun – you have to be at work anyways, so why not make it as fun and fulfilling as possible
In creating service experiences, each one of us has the ability to make the little things – important things.
Your goal for making your customers love you should be to leave each customer feeling more secure, more knowledgeable and more comfortable than they did before interacting with you. The way that you listen, set realistic expectations, and respond will be one of the biggest factors in whether you create customers who stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
The term employee engagement is thrown around so loosely nowadays that it has lost much of its meaning.
Many organizations talk about employee engagement as a program — something they squeeze out of their annual budgets to check off some box they’ve been tasked with from the powers that be.
And don’t get me wrong, some of the perks that HR offers with their employee engagement programs can be great. For more info on the ones your employees want, check out the Top 6 Company Perks to Consider for your Talent.
But these types of perks are now becoming so common that employees almost expect them, and they’re no longer serving as a major motivator of engagement.
The best organizations, the ones who continuously see ROI from their employee engagement programs, have 2 key elements:
1. They use learning and development as a key motivator
2. They personalize their recognition
The key to not having the same old boring engagement program is enabling your employees and empowering them with skills and competencies needed to excel in their role and grow in their future. Why do employees want learning opportunities? When you provide your employees with learning they feel acknowledged and they feel connected to your company’s growth and vision. When you invest in your employees, they will want to invest their motivation and energy back in to your organization. This sense of purpose motivates them to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Watch this quick video for more information on The Intersection of Learning and Engagement.
Next, you must recognize and reward them in a personalized way. This means getting to know your employees, and asking them how they want to be engaged and recognized. Build rapport with your employees — this allows you to understand what motivates and drives them and to personalize their employee experience. When you truly know them and what they want, you can acknowledge and recognize them in a personalized way, which will make them feel visible and valued. Recognition can range from monetary rewards, extra vacation time, or be as simple as looking them in the eye and giving them an authentic, personalized “thank you”.
The keys to perking up that boring engagement program is with personalized recognition and enabling your employees with learning and development. What kind of recognition resonates best with you? Share in the comments below!
Employees are drawn to your company because of the perks, culture and reputation, but they will stay because of the leadership.
The most successful leaders understand that their primary role is to enable their people to be great. This means developing your people and removing obstacles for them to serve customers in a fast, friendly, hassle-free way. Watch this quick video about how to become a Chief Obstacle Remover.
I have worked with leaders to help them become more effective for the past 30 years in over 70 countries and 16 languages. What I have learned through these experiences is that the world is filled with two types of leaders.
The first type of leader is the Servant Leader. Servant Leaders, remove obstacles that get in the way of their employees doing their best work. They develop their team so they give more because they want to, and that discretionary energy is focused on delighting their customers.
These leaders assume and operate under the principle that the individuals on their work team would rather be awesome than ordinary. These leaders have figured out they cannot do everybody’s job on their team and understand that their job is to help their team excel with the customer.
The second type of leader is the Ego Based Leader. Ego Based leaders have limiting beliefs about the individuals on their team, and are constantly trying to protect and prevent those individuals from “messing up” their career.
These leaders often try to do everyone’s job, micro-manage and do not develop their team because they assume they will not be with them long anyways, or they don’t trust them to do the job the “right way.”
Check out the table below for some more characteristics of Ego Based Leaders versus Servant Leaders. This list can be useful for both job seekers and leaders to recognize the characteristics they want to associate/be associated with.
Ego Based Leaders
Focus on themselves and their career growth
Focus on developing their employees
Intimidate and threaten their employees
Recognize and reward employees
Micro-manage projects and roles
Provide direction and guidance
Are closed off and reserved with employees – business only
Get to know employees beyond the job so they can personalize their experience
Rigidly follow policies and procedures
Are flexible with policies – allow employees to make good decisions within their scope of values
Keep their employees in the dark and on a ‘need to know’ basis
Communicate openly and effectively with their employees
Are constantly dealing with customer retention
Have more satisfied customers
Have high turnover rates and are continuously losing money on re-training and hiring replacements
Have employees that stay longer and refer other top performers to the organization
Leaders must remember that if they don’t focus on serving their talent with development opportunities and ongoing recognition, they are missing the opportunity to tap into their discretionary energy. If a leader needs a bottom line reason, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are more than twice as likely to quit within the next year.
Remember, if service is beneath you, then leadership is above you!
Are your employees bored, unengaged and unmotivated? Are you an HR leader tasked with the important goal of engaging your employees? It’s a tricky task to try and engage your employees in meaningful ways that will unlock their discretionary energy and motivation.
A large majority of organizations that are providing employee engagement incentives to their employees are not getting a return on their investment. Part of the reason is that employee engagement has become too focused on generating ‘buzz’ and using superficial ways of engaging employees like stocking the company fridge or having a fuseball table in the break room. Now it’s not to say that these types of engagement strategy can’t work, but in addition to these fun perks it is critical that you provide your employees with deeper, meaningful forms of engagement that will enable your employees to grow and do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons with their colleagues and customers. For more info on how to engage your employees more meaningfully, watch this quick video on The Importance of Employee Engagement in Your Organization.
Now the key to taking your employee engagement program from meh to hell yah, is by uniquely personalizing the incentive and recognition process to each individual employee and giving them choice. Those participating in the recognition program must be motivated by the incentives.
Beyond being personalized and individualized, incentives and recognition need to be tied directly to superior performance, learning and development, and key customer and operational metrics.
An effective way to take your recognition program from meh to hell yah is to use situation recognition. Situational recognition means diagnosing each individual and each desired outcome.
If you provide the same recognition for everyone in your organization, I guarantee you that your program will be ineffective and disappointing. When you focus on situational recognition, you are focusing on the individual’s ability, competence, willingness and commitment to create positive results.
Additionally, situational recognition means getting to know the person beyond the job they do. And when you get to know people and care about them beyond the job, they will feel more connected to you and your organization, and thus be more motivated to give you their discretionary energy.
Our global research has shown that employees want to feel supported by their direct supervisor and be involved in business decisions. When it comes to providing recognition, it is essential to know individual personality types and preferences, as recognition should be a one size fits one mentality.
For more information on how to create a personalized recognition program for your employees, get in touch for a 15-minute demonstration of GES’s recognition solutions.
Gone are the days of people merely being thankful for having a job. Employees now feel more empowered to find an organization that has a good work-life balance and the cultural fit that they’re looking for. That being said, it is critical for leaders and managers to spend the time to create an exceptional internal experience for their employees, otherwise they will never have an exceptional customer experience.
Does this all sound familiar to you? Are you currently working for a bosshole who doesn’t care about anything but the bottom line? Or perhaps you recognize some of these characteristics in yourself!?
Here are a few things a Bosshole might do and some tips on how to fix them!
Bosshole: Forgets to say thank you and recognize their employees for exceptional work.
The fix: There’s nothing more important than recognizing people at every touch point. Recognition sets the foundation of respect and appreciation. Recognition can range from monetary rewards to non-monetary recognition such as a simple thank you or recognizing an employee in front of their peers. Whatever you do, don’t wait for the once a year review to recognize your people, or else those great people to recognize will find somewhere else to be appreciated. For more information on how to recognize your employees at every touch point check out If You’re a Leader You Better Not Suck at Recognition.
Bosshole: Doesn’t provide feedback to employees on an ongoing basis.
The fix: If you want your employees to provide exceptional internal service with their colleagues and external service with your customers, you must be sure to set up your expectations for performance and provide them with ongoing feedback at every touch point. If you surprise your employees with negative feedback at an annual review, you have already missed out on many opportunities to improve your service experience.
Bosshole: Takes credit for their employee’s hard work.
The fix: If you want to be the kind of leader and manager employees will stay for and positively refer others, you should develop a mentality of service. You are there to serve your employees and remove obstacles that get in the way of their service. When you have a servant attitude you will be happy to recognize and celebrate the hard work of your employees because it is a direct reflection of your awesome leadership!
Bosshole: Micro-manages tasks and projects.
The fix: Focus on giving your employees the skills and competencies they need to excel in their role. You should also be sure to hire employees who interpersonal skills that you can trust to give them autonomy and authority to make good decisions that fit within the values of your organization.
To read more about how to harness the discretionary energy of your employees read Do You Really Know Your Team?
If you want to remove the parking brake that is holding your organization back from reaching its best growth and potential, your job as a leader is to develop your employees with skills, and remove obstacles that get in the way of them serving their colleagues and customers.
There have been millions upon millions of dollars spent around the globe on employee engagement and improving customer service. In my experience the missing ingredient to unlocking your employees’ discretionary energy and providing your customers with better service is enabling your employees with the skills needed to excel today and the development needed to advance tomorrow.
When you deliver skills that increase the competency of your workers, they will become more engaged and energized and will be more knowledgeable and able to provide better service for your customers.
As a leader, you want to hire people who are smarter than you and who have a passion for growth and learning. If you think about it, your employees should know more about their areas of specialization than anybody else, and their decisions are likely to have an impact throughout the company. That is why it is crucial to invest in their skills and competencies, so they can make smart decisions on behalf of your company and provide their colleagues and customers with amazing service.
Here are 6 ways to skill up your workers for service:
- Provide engaging learning to develop skills that make your employees more marketable, ideally internally, but maybe someday externally.
- Remove obstacles and bad or outdated policies that can negatively affect employee enablement. Learn more about how to become a Chief Obstacle Remover in this video.
- Leverage your employees’ distinct abilities and ensure the right people are in the right roles.
- Focus on giving your employees non-monetary rewards such as career growth and recognition programs. This will incentivize and motivate them to practice and use their skills with their colleagues and customers.
- Provide life skills that will differentiate your employees in any role they are in. Life skills, often referred to as ‘soft-skills’ are what differentiate humans from robots. These are the skills that help create personalized, authentic interactions with colleagues and customers.
- Layer in skills over time, with a focus on follow up, reinforcement and action planning. If you repeat and reinforce your learning, they will be able to access their skills when they need them.
Now that you know why it’s important to skill up for service, read more about the Top 4 Things Your Employees Want From Their Learning Program.