When It Comes to Your Competition, Employees Make a Difference
It’s all about sales, right? While financial data and product performance are crucial metrics to routinely analyze in business, the success of your business also relies on an often-overlooked differential. When it comes to the customer experience, employees make a difference, and probably more than you think.
Putting more energy into ensuring your employees are portraying the brand you’ve envisioned and mission you’ve declared could be the catalyst your business needs to reach new goals.
How do employees make a difference?
87% of consumers believe brands should be doing more to provide a seamless experience. With more companies turning to autoresponders and chat widgets every day, making sure you also employ real people is crucial.
Do you stop at a coffee shop for your morning cup? Let’s say there are two options on the way to the office. At the first one, you’re rarely greeted. Your order is taken without a smile and you feel rushed as your beverage is handed over while the barista is shouting orders at another employee.
At the competing coffee shop, you always notice how every customer is greeted as they walk in. Even though you’ve only been there a few times, the barista remembers your order and as they make your beverage, there’s always a genuine effort at small talk. You leave with a simple cup of coffee but a great feeling that carries with you throughout the day.
Both coffee shops sell the same product. They use the same process and business model. But the difference is undeniable. Employees make a difference in how your business is portrayed and often determine whether a customer comes back or not.
Who is representing your brand?
How to evaluate your current employees
You can’t be everywhere at once and we certainly don’t suggest micromanaging when it comes to determining which employees are performing to your standards.
Instead, try these evaluation methods.
It can be difficult to get customers to fill out surveys, but if you offer an enticing freebie or discount for their opinion, you should be able to get enough responses to determine if your staff is doing the bare minimum or going above and beyond the customer service call.
Track down data relative to your industry. What’s the average closing rate? How many customers routinely become returning customers? How do your sales compare to the competition? The answers should give you an indication of how your staff is performing.
When all else fails, just ask your staff how they feel their customer service performance ranks. Ask for ideas about how to improve services. Don’t be afraid to ask what’s holding them back from providing a superior experience.
How to ensure your employees make a difference
Not every employee can be the strongest. But if there’s potential, the following suggestions can help boost your low performing employees and make your fantastic employees even better.
Leave room for interaction
Bots and automatic emails can help save time but won’t allow you to stand out from the competition. Whenever it makes sense, allocate resources for human interaction. Answer questions, address concerns and respond to feedback with personal messages.
Hire and staff appropriately
Some employees are great at the technical aspects of their job but not the best with human interaction. Make sure they’re not the ones on the front line. First impressions are everything so keep your most personable staff easily accessible and the more technical members working behind the scenes. Also, make sure you only hire the most qualified and have enough employees to prevent chaos and burnout.
Provide proper training
If employees don’t understand your business inside and out, they can’t provide a seamless experience. Make sure training is strong and accurate from the start. Keep employees updated on changes and industry news so they’re always a step ahead.