Happy Employees = Great Service
I recently toured a long-standing B-to-B catalog company and was struck by the aura of its offices and people. As I walked through its call center, telephone reps were smiling and happy. They graciously said hello to me as a visitor (when they really had no clue who I was), and were courteous, polite and respectful of each other and themselves. Their body language spoke volumes.
Happy to be there, they worked productively with their friends, serving customers in the best way possible. They were eager to support, assist and compliment each other. The environment was professional and clean, and you could tell they helped keep it that way and were proud of it. The break room sparkled in appearance and conversation.
The warehouse team was equally upbeat and productive. WOW! I thought to myself, “Why aren’t all companies like this?”
Surely the leaders of all B-to-B catalog companies must realize that unless such an atmosphere of communal success is present, positive and friendly customer service can’t happen.
By contrast, we’ve all seen companies with an aura of employee slump or malaise. You know, those companies where employees are unkempt, messy and disorganized. Work spaces are cluttered and feel dirty. You can’t help but sense negative attitudes, laziness and a lack of teamwork. And you can’t help but think what the customers of these companies are hearing over the phone.
So why is it that such differences exist? In my experience, it all starts at the top. Leaders of facilities must consciously create the culture of productivity they want and their customers need. Here are some ideas on how to accomplish this.
* Develop and define the culture of your company through vision statements, employee/customer bill of rights, monthly business performance communications, and employee reward and recognition programs. I recommend you take a look at the performance motivation products cataloger Baudville (www.baudville.com) for ideas.
* Hold a new employee meeting every month where you tell employees what’s expected of them, how to dress and act professionally, what behavior successful employees exude, what kinds of problem behavior to avoid, etc. Make sure they understand what is expected of them in terms of behavior and performance.
* Ensure your work environment is properly cleaned and lighting is conducive to a service culture. If new carpet and a fresh coat of paint are needed, do it.
* Make sure standards of mutual respect are communicated and demonstrated daily.
* Counsel or eliminate problem employees. One “bad apple” can bring the whole group down in a hurry.
* Plan company events like picnics and holiday parties. Host monthly activities.
* Above all, lead by example. If you’re positive regardless of the situation, your team will follow.
Have feedback? Click on the “submit a comment” button here, or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love to hear from you.
Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence Inc., a strategic consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at www.b2bdmi.com or (954) 566-44