Your employees are either building or eroding your brand. Think about their daily interactions with any of your customers. Are they encouraging customers to come back and bring their friends? Or do their actions send customers running and complaining to anyone who will listen?
Either way your brand is affected.
We know that to activate customer loyalty, the organization (and its employees) not only needs to know what customers need and to provide it all the time (this is what drives satisfaction), but to then also choose to do some extras. Ken Blanchard calls it the “+1” in his book Raving Fans. Emeril Lagasse calls it “Bam!” I call it your “Standout!”
Getting it right is great, but doing something more for customers is required to move from satisfaction to loyalty. Both need to happen, every day, all the time.
Here’s the hard question: are your employees delivering this type of customer service to every customer all the time?
Consider this: the Gallup organization shares that nearly 70% of employees are disengaged. This means that nearly 70% of employees do just enough not to get fired, or sometimes do even less.
What does this mean for you? They’re doing just enough with your customers.
Disengaged employees sometimes get it right for your customers. Sometimes. That means that sometimes customers will be satisfied. But satisfied and loyal are two very different things. Disengaged employees will rarely, if ever, consider doing the extras to move a customer to loyal.
Why should you care? Because in our world of intense competition, organizations must know, manage and provide exceptional customer experience in order to grow and succeed. The greater your employee disengagement, the greater the likelihood your customers are receiving average service, which could leave you struggling to achieve your performance goals.
So how can you identify your disengaged employees and start making changes? It starts with greater awareness. Pay attention and notice their performance, effort and response. And ask questions.
Employee surveys are great when used with intention; same with customer satisfaction surveys. But don’t administer them without an action plan in place. These surveys can provide you with valuable information you need to help you make intentional changes to make your workplace better for your employees. And when this is done successfully, it can help deliver a better, more consistent customer service to drive toward loyal customers.
There are two critical “experiences” to constantly watch and improve: the employee experience and the customer experience. The employee experience (degree of engagement) drives the customer experience (degree of loyalty). What are you doing on a daily basis to understand where employee engagement levels are and what can improve them?
Remember that employee engagement has the greatest impact on your ability to create a brand that is associated with delivering consistent and exceptional service. This is what ultimately creates a level of customer loyalty where they happily refer you to their friends.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading Don’t Do Average. Make it an Experience
This article originally appeared on Vistage’s Talent Strategies Network on August 27, 2019: https://my.vistage.com/networks/talent_strategies/blog/2019/08/27/what-your-disengaged-employees-do-to-your-customers.