We often pay lip service to the belief that “happy employees mean happy customers” but few actually mandate a culture of happiness on a corporate level. In fact, promoting happiness is often taken for granted, and it generally takes a back seat from what’s considered more “important” matters that directly affect the bottom line.
But happy customers do affect the bottom line: they become repeat customers, they don’t go to competitors, and they can even become your most effective brand ambassadors. These types of testimonies are not easily duplicated by costly marketing campaigns or large billboard ads. Happy customers create the kind of viral word-of-mouth that can best be generated by extraordinary customer service and delivered by truly happy employees.
Are you ready to promote a culture of happiness among your employees? Here are five ways to achieve this.
Hire employees with a positive attitude.
Technical expertise can be learned over time, but teaching a non-people person to become more empathetic is not as easily taught. Many employers look for a solid background in the industry when looking to hire new people, but in the long run, having a positive attitude will prove to have a real impact in having happier workers. This, in turn will produce delighted customers.
Create an environment that promotes happiness.
Hiring happy people is not enough; you must foster this innate positivity by building a happy working environment as well. Create open spaces. Your office architecture should not be closed in. Ideally, workers should see the outside world from their place of work. One way to achieve a more open type of architecture is to build an office for support staff using transparent walls that will invite more natural light into their workspaces, and encourage bonding with co-workers.
Hire full-time customer service employees.
The president of Canon ITS, Doris Higginbotham, said that, “customer service is too important to be delivered by temps.” Temporary workers will seldom deliver the kind of service that fully trained workers are able to do. Investing in training your long time employees will foster a sense of belonging that in turn engenders strong bonds of loyalty. Regularly acknowledging their achievements will also produce happy, content workers who will provide excellent customer service.
Align employee metrics with customer service goals.
Using metrics with which to measure employee performance is necessary, but too much of it oftentimes skimps on a service representative’s ability to deliver outstanding service. Take time limits on phone calls, for example. Many contact centers train agents to stay on the phone lines in as little time as possible in order to service more inbound calls, but this can backfire for situations where more time with a customer is needed. Front liners must be provided with the necessary tools and the leeway they need to give excellent service. That means that other means of communication – email, chat, telephone, Twitter – should be available depending on customer preferences.
Encourage positive motivation among peers.
Positive feedback from co-workers can sometimes be a stronger motivator than fear tactics or even management expectations. When your employees are encouraged to help one another through coaching, mentoring, or giving helpful tips, this extends to how they treat your customers as well. Making your customer service team inspired is also a way to motivate them!
Outstanding customer service is not just about fast service or knowledgeable front liners. Those are important attributes, but if you want the kind of customer loyalty that lasts a lifetime, you need to invest in your employees first. When done properly, happiness can be viral. Providing your employees with the tools they need to achieve a positive workplace is a win-win situation on all fronts – for internal customer, the management team, and your loyal clients.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!