In many businesses, your employees will be the first line of interaction with your business that your most important clients have. In order to ensure that your business is reaching its full potential, it will be crucial to make sure your employees are engaging these clients (or customers) in a productive way.
Your business has already likely extensively discussed customer service in your employee meetings, training manuals, and various other outlets. However, while these discussions are important, they often fall on deaf ears. Beyond the threat of being fired (something which is inherently negative), your business will need to be looking for chances to inspire your employees to engage each person who walks through the door.
According to a study conducted by Bain & Company, businesses that experience a minor (5 percent) bump in customer loyalty may end up seeing their sales increase between 25 and 95 percent. Obviously, any opportunity that allows you to build this loyalty early on will be one that is worth pursuing.
In this article, we will discuss 10 tips for improving customer satisfaction through employee engagement. By focusing on these key relationships, your business can retain your most loyal buyers and ultimately inflate your bottom line.
1. Create an Employee of the Month Program
One of the best ways to inspire positive employee actions is creating an employee of the month program. By recognizing the employees that have been effective—preferably in a quantifiable way—you will reinforce behaviors that are good for the business. Offering raises, vacation days, and other incentives will inspire your employees to take this program seriously.
2. Follow Up with Each Sale
In order to know whether your current sales efforts are actually effective, it will be necessary for you to follow up with your clients following each sale. Asking these clients questions about their interactions, what drew them to your business, and their general views of your employees will make it easier for you to determine if you are moving in the right direction.
3. Allow for Longer Breaks
After working for several hours—especially in the retail space—your employees will begin to feel exhausted and their performance will begin to suffer. Instead of ignoring your employee’s basic human instincts, you’ll be much better off by offering them the breaks they need. By allowing for an hourly break, your employees will have a chance to refresh themselves and have more productive interactions.
4. Offer Performance-Based Raises
A performance-based raise is one of the clearest, and easiest, ways for you to incentivize your employees. By rewarding them for following through with company initiatives, you will improve your bottom line and your employees will also find much more meaning in their work. Offering even small raises on a regular basis can trigger positive effects felt throughout the company.
5. Ask Your Employees for Input
While trying to analyze things from the outside will still be very important, asking your employees for their input can have an even greater impact on your business. What changes need to be made? How do your employees believe sales can improve? By asking these simple questions, you can get a lot of positive insight.
6. Promote General Employee Morale
Your employees will often succeed—and fail—as an entire group. Beyond the individual incentives you are already offering, consider offering some group incentives as well. Even doing something as simple as paying for a company outing on a monthly basis can improve morale, teamwork, and create the synergy you need to succeed.
7. Encourage Employees to Recruit their Friends
Instead of trying to develop a “top-down” approach to marketing, your business may be better off starting from the inside and working its way out. By incentivizing your employees to help sell to people they know (usually through a cash incentive), your business can expand its overall reach and also be pulling from a pool of people who are likely to remain loyal.
8. Make Small Changes, Regularly
One of the most common complaints employees have about their managers is that changes are rarely, if ever, actually made. Gathering data and making long-term strategies is one thing—finding ways to put these decisions into motion is another. By being responsive to input from employees and making regular changes, your business can maximize its profit potential and avoid costly interruptions.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice
Another way to help improve employee performance is to give the opportunities to actually hone their craft. Taking some time to run through common objections will help your front line employees become more effective and attentive sellers. They will also be notably more patient while dealing with difficult customers.
10. Maintain a Positive Attitude
There is no denying the fact that in order for your employees to be happy, their manager needs to put on a positive face as well. Instead of creating a culture centered on fear and conflict avoidance, you will be much better off creating a culture of cooperation and initiative. If the boss has a positive mental attitude, this attitude will be reflected in their employee’s daily work.
Your employees are a valuable component of your business that will likely make the difference between your long-term success and failure. By finding ways to promote positive employee interactions, you can improve the relationship you have with your customers and move closer to achieving your long-term objectives.
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