I had decided that staff training would be the next area to explore and came across Lecia-Gaye Taylor’s blog post on justhitchednowwhat.com. She explained her encounter with a JPS meter reader. I am happy the issue was resolved for her. I encourage us all to give it a read, as I am sure she is not alone!
Year after year companies report robust profit margins, yet the customers can experience no improvements even in how we are treated. It begs one to wonder what companies do with their earnings and how do they determine the critical areas to improve.
I am increasingly realizing that companies do not seem to consider staff training to be a necessary investment. Is it accepted that service is bad and that is the status quo? I would be interested to see how much is invested in staff training and what types of training programs are provided.
I would be highly uninformed to believe that these issues are unique to Jamaica. However, we can leave this one trait in the past. Nothing should be taken for granted. Companies need to have basic guidelines and principles on how staff should interact with customers. This needs to range from attitude, identifying yourself as an employee, a firm understanding of the products and services offered by the company and proper knowledge of the chain of command.
Businesses need to have standards that explicitly denote the types of personalities they need to hire to meet their customer experience targets. The standards need to be maintained over time and adhered to if we are to see improvements.
Another side to this is, companies cannot expect to get out of their employees what they do not invest in them. Even if you hire amazing personalities, it is natural that they will be burnt out over time. If your aim is to retain great employees who advance your business, the attitude cannot be “I pay you your wages, what more do you want”. Your employees are your internal customers and they will treat your external customers the same way you treat them. Research conducted by ORACLE also showed that there is always correlation between the pain points of your employees and that of your customers as well as the satisfaction of your employees and your customer.
Would it not be smart then, to treat employees well for your own benefit so that the customers can feel less burdened by the fact that there has to be an encounter? Invest in your employees and give the customer some relief. It has also been proven that people are willing to spend more when they get good service. Good service is good business.
Alex-Ann Green, MBA MS, is a Customer Experience Strategist| www.getthespike.com