Perhaps it’s because I’m in the customer experience industry, but whenever I enter a retail store or dine at a restaurant or call in to my service provider’s contact center, I have some very definite expectations, one of which is to have a pleasant interaction with the staff.
Employees, regardless of the products or services they provide, are the ones setting the tone for their company and brand. They are the ones on the front lines interacting with customers each and every day. And when employees are fully engaged and satisfied with their job, it shows. They become passionate advocates who positively affect the customer experience. The reverse is also true: When employees are not satisfied, they become liabilities to your brand.
The question is, then, “What is the critical element to helping employees engage in their work?” It’s called motivation, and you can’t have engagement without it.
Areas of Motivation to Keep in Mind
Staff motivation can be a huge challenge for even the best location managers. With so much to manage during every operating hour, a manager’s ability to inspire and motivate employees is limited—but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Managers can greatly improve staff motivation by keeping these three areas in mind:
1. Focus—Ensure that employees are focusing on the right things to drive a positive customer experience.
2. Communication—Make sure communication is grounded in the customer experience.
3. Visibility—Keep the customer experience front and center in employee’s minds.
Location managers can master these key areas by implementing some simple and effective strategies in order to drive staff motivation in order to deliver a continued exceptional customer experience:
Be generous with praise
It’s one of the easiest things you can give, not to mention it has a phenomenal cost-to-impact ratio. Praise every improvement you see in your team members, both in one-on-one situations and in front of their peers.
Make your ideas theirs
Don’t tell your staff what to do. Instead, consult with them in a way that helps them arrive at correct conclusions on their own. For example, ask, “What do you think about trying this?”
Don’t criticize or correct
No one enjoys hearing that they did something wrong. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “What will you do differently if that situation arises again? Why?”
Recognize and reward
Give a shout out to top performing employees. Run contests or internal games with a simple incentive and keep track of results in an area that everyone can see. This can be done using Mindshare’s Comment Poster, a motivational tool for supporting location managers in delivering impactful communications about the customer experience with staff members.
How Comment Poster Helps Location Managers
Comment Poster provides managers with several key features for motivating frontline employees:
- Highly visible staff reminders of what customers are saying at their location.
- Quick pulse of customer sentiment assessments highlighting which staff members are doing well or poorly with the customer service being provided.
- Highlights of the most useful customer comments—good or bad—to remind team members and management of the key issues arising in order to address them immediately.
- Immediate insight into top- and low-performing employees with comments for recognition or coaching opportunities.
If you take care of your staff and implement the above strategies, you’ll be well on your way to providing a great work environment. In turn, your location will continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience and benefit from return visits, active brand advocacy and loyalty, and, ultimately, an increase in revenue.