Guest post by: David Bator, Vice President Client Strategy, TemboSocial
Poor customer service and huge profits usually don’t go hand in hand. Rather, when consumers are provided inadequate support, they are likely to take their business elsewhere. Although the service landscape is changing with the advent of new social media and interactive tools, quality support is not confined to the help desk.
Any organization that provides any type of service can see sales decline if employee performance lags. Just as a customer will be unhappy if a service agent can’t answer a simple question, a company involved in a business-to-business relationship would likely be unsatisfied if a PR partner is unable to contain a negative story. In the simplest sense, quality is money. But how do businesses ensure they are able to create a staff that is willing to go the extra mile to keep clients happy?
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to take proactive steps to boost employee engagement levels. When professionals are not motivated to succeed, they are more likely to produce average work, which will do little to help a company grow. However, by investing in software solutions that are able to get employees more excited to consistently perform at a high level, businesses can benefit.
With social engagement programs that reward and track performance, co-workers can compare and compete against each other in a healthy work environment. It’s this type of proactive work that can take companies to the next level to better serve clients.
Business success isn’t everything
According to Forbes, employees don’t simply engage more with their work when profits are high or the business is growing. Rather, they are more likely to produce better results when levels of organizational commitment are high. In turn, the source suggested engaged employees are more able to meet customer demands, making clients more satisfied.
Although the source noted that data from a study of retail bank employees published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found enterprise performance can motivate employees, it’s a temporary engagement.
“Results indicated that organizational commitment had a more persistent influence on performance at the business unit level than vice versa,” the report stated, according to Forbes. “Consistent with prior research, this suggests that job attitudes may come first, and that practitioners might be well advised to aim to improve job attitudes in order to boost performance.”
After less than a year, the source indicated that employees stop being motivated by corporate success. Rather, they value a social workplace that embraces a collaborative approach and positive attitudes. For this reason, engagement software to manage talent is a must for modern companies.
The financial benefit of loyal customers
Despite the fact the Forbes noted a more engaged workforce can provide better customer service, some executives may still be hesitant to invest in software solutions that facilitate engagement. However, by doing so, they are destroying their chances of building a loyal and lucrative base of loyal customers.
MarketingProfs recently cited data from FiveStars that found loyal customers make up only 20 percent of a company’s entire customer group. However, they are responsible for 80 percent of revenues and 72 percent of all visits.
Also, the source found that VIP and loyalty program customers are 70 percent more likely to recommend a brand or company than normal consumers. While 65 percent of returning customers want access to coupons and promotions, 99 percent of new customers ignore such campaigns.
Returning customers should be treated as walking advocates for a brand, as well as a major source of revenue.
Focus on customers by focusing on employees
Some businesses may struggle to find ways to make consumers more interested in their products. However, as both sources showed, it may be a better idea for companies to get employees more interested in what they offer.
An engaged employee is one who will produce better work for clients. Potentially, this will allow enterprises to boost customer retention rates, as well as their bottom lines.
So you recognize that changes need to happen, but putting that change into action is easier said than done. Many times organizations jump head first into new initiatives without doing the necessary groundwork; these initiatives are often destined to fail. In order to improve the likelihood that your change efforts will be successful, there are eight stages that should be followed:
- Create a sense of urgency
– Evaluate the competitive market to determine where potential crises may occur and what opportunities are being missed
– Convince others that the status quo is more dangerous than making changes
- Create a guiding team
– Create a group of individuals who share your commitment for change and who have sufficient power to influence others
- Create a vision
– Create a vision to drive change and identify strategy for realizing this vision
- Communicate a vision
– Use multiple methods and channels to communicate the vision and strategies to achieve it and have the guiding team and change agents model the new behaviors/changes
- Empower action
– Remove obstacles that undermine the vision and encourage risk taking and new ideas and ways of doing things
- Create short-term wins
– Define what performance improvements look like and recognize and reward individuals contributing to improvements
- Don’t let up
– Use credibility from early successes to change systems, structures and policies that undermine change efforts
– Reinvigorate the change process with new projects
- Make change last
– Articulate the connection between new behaviors/change and organization success
For more information on the 8 critical steps to sustaining change after your employee survey, check out this TemboStatus ebook as it sets the groundwork for change and gives clear pitfalls to avoid.
TemboStatus is all-in-one employee engagement software for HR professionals. We take you beyond survey results and recommendations and offer the actual tactics you need to move the needle on engagement.
David Bator is passionate about programs that move people. As Vice President of Client Strategy, David leads TemboSocial’s Conversation Consultants, a group responsible for helping clients leverage TemboSocial’s tools to interactively engage and share knowledge with employees and customers alike. Follow David on Twitter: TemboSocialDB.