Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Window to the Soul of Your Organization

Image courtesy of Of Shadows and Light
Your frontline staff is the window to the soul of your organization.

Have you ever thought of them in that manner?

They truly are that window. They provide a glimpse into the organization and all its inner workings: your culture, your workplace environment, your employee experience, your customer experience, and more.
 
So, imagine if the window to the soul of your organization is broken.

If employees ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!  

If that's the case, know that it is your fault. Somewhere along the way, communication broke down or expectations weren't (properly) set.

Imagine if your employees aren't treating your customers well. Imagine if they take attitude with your customers or aren't willing to be helpful. What if they deliver an experience that is totally counter to what your customers expect? What if the way they act or the words they use with your customers don't reflect your culture or your brand?

Imagine if your employees make your customers feel like the women in this video make the main character feel. Granted, the women are fellow customers, but the point is still made: attitude and word choices impact those around you.


Do your customers feel deflated after interacting with your employees?

How does this happen? Again, it's your fault. You've hired wrong. Failed to train properly. Haven't communicated what a great experience looks like. Didn't provide the tools or resources for employees to do their jobs properly.

First impressions are everything. First impressions are lasting impressions. Those windows (your frontline) make a first impression - with every interaction. They give a glimpse into how your organization hires, prepares its employees, and feels about customers overall. They set the expectation for what lies ahead, causing customers to either return or move on. So make sure your windows aren't dirty or broken (so to speak).

Here are some tips to help you avoid or to fix the broken windows:
  • Hire the right people 
  • Hire for attitude, train for skills
  • Make the employee experience a priority
  • Teach employees what empathy means and how to use it to deliver the experience your customers expect
  • Lose the script; encourage employees to be real
  • Empower employees to do what's right - on the spot
  • Define and then clearly communicate to employees your CX vision
  • Train employees on what it means to deliver a great experience
  • Provide employees with the tools and resources needed to do what they're supposed to do
  • Communicate openly, choose words wisely
  • Role play and set examples
Take a look at your windows. What do you see? Do they need to be cleaned? Repaired?

If you want to fix the customer experience, the #1 thing you need to focus on is the employee experience.

The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye. -Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


5 comments:

  1. Do you think it's an analogy that would help people really understand how important employees are to the success of the customer experience and the organization?

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    Replies
    1. As an analogy I think it's a good start but I'm not sure about the video though.

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  2. Fabulous video, though I don't think the problem is necessarily training or hiring, I think it is more to do with the everyday ethos and culture that managers promote.

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    Replies
    1. Good point. The culture is definitely a factor.

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