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Richard Branson could have added "…and your customers will look after your business".
It really is that simple but as Peter Drucker pointed out "Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done". And unfortunately, we have frequently seen that this is indeed the case amongst the countless IIC assessments we've run for clients since 2006.
So how does a business engage with its staff in order to get them empowered and motivated to deliver remarkable service to customers? We have worked closely with many IIC clients and there is very little out there we haven't seen or experienced, both in respect of analysing and feeding back the results from IIC assessment projects but also from working operationally with clients.
- Good customer experiences start with the people you employ. Put simply, it is about getting the right people to do the right thing at the right time.
- If a business has a demotivated and disaffected workforce, the IIC assessment will invariably uncover that fact. If this is the case, it needs urgent management attention because IIC results show that a poor staff attitude one year will lead to a worsening customer experience score in the following year.
Some examples of how our customers use their results to improve:
- Recruitment – "if I recruit the right people, the rest follows"
- Customer journey mapping – don't just focus on the customer side, you need to map the internal process too in order to spot internal wrinkles that will affect customers.
- Managing expectations – the best run companies create an environment where things can run smoothly between different teams who may all be serving the same customer
- Managing feedback – sharing feedback with employees is vital but it should be a two way street – why are we getting this feedback?
- Cross functional teams – good customer experiences may be led from the top but are built from the bottom. Involve those in the know, across the business, and empower them to develop solutions
- Don't ignore good practice – all sorts of great things happen in the business day to day but often go unnoticed, make the effort to seek them out and praise people
- Internal communications – so often the poor relation but successful IIC clients seek to engage hearts and minds through proactive and persistent internal communications
For most organisations, there is never a "magic pill", the one thing that will make everything 100% better – instead there are 100 things that can be made 1% better, and the surest way of finding those 100 things is to engage with the people who know what they are – the customers know some of it, and the staff probably know the rest.