I’m sure you’ll forgive the alliteration, but it’s necessary. Have you ever been listlessly assisted by a supermarket cashier? Or been to the reception area at big business’s head office where the receptionist is merrily filing her nails, playing solitaire or (the horror), Facebooking?
If you’ve experienced either of these situations you’ll agree that the lack of enthusiasm and passion is numbing.
So why are we, as customers, forced to face this sort of treatment?
Making decisions before we have the capacity to understand them
I’m not blaming your employees for their lack of enthusiasm. I’ll tell you why. We choose our career paths at such an early age that we can’t fathom whether or not we will actually like (or, heaven forbid, love) what we end up doing. Is it then really the employee’s fault for showing a lack of interest in your customers? The simple answer: No, it isn’t.
How do we spot them?
Nope. No secrets from the underworld here. You don’t spot those listless apples before you’ve hired them. As soon as you get someone into the interviewing room you can rest assured that they may be the most enthusiastic character you’ve ever come across. Don’t be fooled. They’re probably not. And it’s not their fault either. In a country where one quarter of the population is unemployed, expect people to say and do what they have to in order to land the job.
Is it really that big a deal?
It is if you want a competitive advantage. Your employees interact with your customers. They are everything tangible about you in the customer’s mind. If your customer care agent doesn’t actually care then, to the customer, neither do you. In a landscape where more and more companies are competing based on the type of experience that they deliver to customers, how could unenthusiastic staff not be a big deal?
Fair enough, how do we fix it?
It’s simple. Treat your staff members the way you would like them to treat your customers, because at the end of the day, the people making up your staff are your customers too. If you have a strategy in place to please and retain your customers, why don’t you have one in place for your staff?
If we cut to the chase, the message is clear – the people you employ will only be as motivated as you allow for them to be. For far too long companies have been talking the talk and trying to attain the ever elusive goal of being the employer of choice, however not many of these big talkers have been walking the walk. When we invest in the employee experience we indirectly invest in the customer experience, so why not increase morale among employees and service them as we would customers? The results will be reflected not only in the more positive customer sentiment towards our brand, but also in the bottom line. And that is the bottom line.