Tag Archives: customer

Keep Staff Connected to Enhance Customer Experience

Matt Rolfe in his November 27, 2014 blog “Five tips for effective employee engagement surveys” states some startling statistics… 60 – 100 percent of staffers leave voluntarily on an annual basis. That affects guest experience, social media ratings and profit.

In the hospitality and retail industries most of your staff work in some capacity directly with customers. One of the key members of your staff is your manager; through his/her leadership staff will gel into a cohesive team focused on providing great service or not. Your business success depends on good-to-great leadership otherwise a large percentage of your staff will leave. A business is a team effort so your supportive guidance along with your manager‘s is critical.

Rolfe further states that replacing a staff member costs a business one to three times the staff member’s annual salary.

Over the course of a year that could turn a lot of potential profits into ashes!

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Based on his own experiences, Rolfe has found staff quit most often because there is a problem with managers, not necessarily with the business. He recommends an employee engagement survey as a performance indicator. Visit www.restaurantcentral.ca/employeeengagementsurveys.aspx for his five tips for effective surveys.

All businesses are in the business of relationship building both with their customers and their staff. A survey is an excellent tool but if you can’t see yourself monitoring performance through a formal survey, perhaps these suggestions will be some help until you can put a survey in place.

To enhance customer experiences and reduce staff turnover, it is important to give public and peer recognition to your staff.

  • Saying a verbal thank-you after a notable effort means a lot to a staff member who wants to be part of your team.

  • Seeking staff input through staff meetings and putting some of their suggestions into action is another form of relationship building.

  • Being in integrity and building impartial leadership creates a safe environment for open communications.

  • Formal recognition milestones also play an uplifting role in staff engagement.

  • Making the team environment a lighthearted place to work improves performance.

  • Putting heart-felt, handwritten ‘Thank you Team’ notices on the bulletin board communicates appreciation.

  • Implementing friendly competition events with fun rewards within your business fosters team building as well as sponsoring teams for local community sports events.

  • Encouraging staff volunteer efforts for local community non-profit organizations is an avenue for compassion for others.

  • Set aside two 15 minute sessions each week, to confidentially talk face-to-face with two different staff members. Let all your staff know the purpose of the talks is to make their workplace a more satisfying and stimulating environment. Remember these confidential sessions are sacred! Honor your staff by making time for them. To focus the conversation, have a list of 2-3 discussion topics to start with.

  • When a staff member chooses to leaves, have a policy for an end-of-employment interview to thank them for being part of the team, find out what they liked best and least, suggestions for improvements and wishing the best for them in their new position. Make sure all employees know about this interview and what to expect when their employment is finished.

Creating an effective, open form of communication keeps your staff connected to enhance customer experiences. All businesses are in the business of relationship building.

How does PFS help with this process? In our surveys that get sent out one of the questions asked is about the person (employee) that served them. If you assign employee to have their own id in the program it tracks the customers they served. So even if the customer forgets the name of the server our program helps remember.

Here’s to YOUR Success!

Peter

Why Say Thanks to your Customers?

Thank-you with a smile is one of the most powerful words in the English language and in customer relationships. It is an expression of politeness between two people which creates a connection. Subconsciously it says ‘I respect and value you’. It sets the standard to begin a mutually polite conversation and keeps you in integrity. Said with 100% sincerity, it can overcome many obstacles. It’s like a bridge over a chasm of misunderstandings or a welcoming handshake inviting the person to a closer circle of friendship.

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Customer Put on Hold

(then You Drop the Ball)

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Have you ever put a customer on hold on the phone saying it will take you 5 minutes to get an answer and then forgot them or it took 20 minutes? Somedays it seemed like the phone was permanently glued to my ear! I had the best intentions but there were so many things which happened in each day. It was tough to remember the customer who was on the phone earlier. Unless I wrote down a notethere was no physical reminder to trigger the thought to call them back. Sometimes even a note didn’t help.

Customers are not concerned with how busy your day is because they have pressing matters themselves. They just want to know if you can provide the service or item, when and for how much. So how do you make good when you’ve forgotten them, when you’ve dropped the ball?

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I found you usually can get the situation cleared up by…

  • phoning and starting with an apology for the delay.
  • thanking them for their patience. This tells them they are important to you.
  • giving them an offer to show how much you value them.

What if most days you could guarantee your customers being patient with you, especially when you drop the ball?

Imagine your business if all your customers truly felt loyal to you?

How do you think they would feel if you had an occasional ‘oops’, when you dropped the ball? My experience tells me most days they would overlook it. They would stay with your business because you gave them ‘special treatment’. Loyal customers stay with you through thick and thin.

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So how do you get loyal customers? First of all, you must have top-notch products and services. Then…

  • Develop a niche market. Your business must be unique is some small way so it remains memorable in your customers’ minds.
  • Listen to your customers. The’ll tell you what they like best and then give them more, or what they like least and then resolve it.
  • Be fully present with your customers. Really listen to them so they feel valued.
  • Reward them occasionally. Make it fun.
  • Do little things like keeping them informed of local events or places of interest such as museums.

Don’t have the time to do ‘all that stuff’? Then use a loyalty program.

A loyalty program lets you stay in touch with your customers consistently. Some will let you add a note to a customer’s account file so you can follow-up easily. Some have the ability to set up an immediate reward with a specific customer. This feature alone would pay big dividends in keeping your customers happy. Keeping customers thrilled is a great way to get more customers.

What one thing would you want a loyalty program to do to keep your customers happy even when you drop the ball?  Leave me a comment below.

Plenty FULL Services is an affordable loyalty program which makes it simple to keep your customers content. Visit www.plentyfullservices.com to get happy customers bringing customers to you.

Here’s to your Content Customers!

Peter