……….and you will deliver world-class customer service.
Popular belief suggests that customers are the reason problems begin in any organization. That’s far from the case in reality; problems begin with the company and its employees. Customers expect a top-notch experience but receive a bad one instead. As a result, the company loses them forever. Excellent customer service starts with employees, and if the employees aren’t happy with your company, how can you expect them to make your customers happy?
In my book Fresh Customer Service- Treat the Employee as #1 and the Customer as #2 and you will get customers for life – I explain that the best way to make your customers happy is to ensure your employees are happy with their job and empowered and equipped to deliver a world-class customer service experience. The first two steps of the 6.5 steps are Side by Side Walking and Smart Tasking.
- Side By Side Walking
The first fresh step towards understanding your employees is side by side walking. This essentially means stepping into your employees’ shoes, enabling you to identify the gaps in your company’s operations and helping you determine which areas need improvement. All you have to do is engage in the same activities as your employees for one day to understand where your company stands.
Steps to Effective Side by Side Walking
Following are the main steps for side by side walking:
- Make safety a priority
- Jobs should be described in written documents which outline the tasks and desired outcomes
- Mentally prepare yourself and realize the significance and purpose of this strategy
- Ensure you adopt same dress code, gear, and use the same equipment as your employees
- Perform all pre-work tasks your employees have to perform like clocking in, preparing shift register, reading the task board, etc.
- Do all the tasks as per the existing processes and procedures the employees follow
- Observe all the tasks and process being followed during the shift
- Ensure that you complete the entire shift
- Reflect and assess the tasks you did, the problems that occurred, and compare it to the job description of your employees
- Determine where the problems are and where improvements are needed.
2. Smart Tasking
The second fresh step towards understanding your customers is Smart Tasking. It helps in setting up clear priorities and expectations for your employees which would assist them in offering the best customer support to your customers. Train your employees to smart task effectively and encourage them to speak up if they are assigned tasks that they deem ineffective and unnecessary. This helps in eliminating unnecessary work for the employees and makes their tasks more manageable and enjoyable for them.
Steps for Smart Tasking
Following are the main steps for smart tasking:
- Understand the processes and operations
- Identify the right tasks and eliminate unnecessary ones
- Recommend specific time duration for each task
- Never sacrifice safety of your employees
- Ensure you provide easy step-by-step instructions for all tasks
- Determine if the tasks adds to the customers’ experience and to what degree
- Make adjustments where necessary
- Review all tasks to ensure they are necessary for the overall process
- Offer appropriate training of smart tasking for your employees
Understanding the problems your employees face and the environment they work in will help you in making their work experience better. Training them to prioritize and eliminating complex and unnecessary tasks will enhance their work satisfaction and make tasks easy for them. As a result, they will be able to offer a world-class customer service experience to your customers.