Improve Customer Service by Serving Your Team

Nov 6, 2014, Written by Sue Miley


“The enthusiasm of the guest experience can never rise any higher than the enthusiasm of our own employees.”

-Joel Manby, Love Works

Reading this quote this morning out of Manby’s book Love Works made me wonder why this quote was not underlined as one of the most highlighted lines in the book. (You know how Kindle does that!) It sure stood out as one of the most important lines to me.

Think about it.

It is simple, yet powerful.  Businesses like Chick-Fil-A  and Apple get this.  They have the most enthusiastic employees and are known for their team and service.  How can other businesses expect to create raving fans in their customers when their employees are counting the seconds until quitting time and posting comments to Facebook about the drudgery of their job?

We expect excellent customer service from our team regardless of their life, their mood, or how they are treated at work by managers or coworkers.

I understand that sometimes people bring their problems to work. And as an organizational leader or small business owner, it may be easier to tell myself that it is their problem.  It is home, not work. But is that really always the case?

Are you sure?

We may not be able to influence our team’s home life directly, however, we can certainly impact their experience at work.  If we are enthusiastically treating each team member as we want each customer to be treated, wouldn’t that change the energy and enthusiasm by which they do their job?

Couldn’t we also say that the enthusiasm of the employee experience can never rise any higher than the enthusiasm of our own leadership?
As a leader in your organization, do you:

  • Go out of your way to greet and encourage each of your employees every time you see them?  (You wouldn’t only occasionally greet a customer enthusiastically, would you?)
  • Take the time to understand the needs of your employee to do their job the most effectively and provide it?   (If our product or service doesn’t meet the needs of our customers, will they buy it?)
  • Make sure that you regularly, if not daily, thank your employees for the contribution they made that day, that week, that year?  (Don’t you want your team to thank your customers every time they see them?)
  • Describe the vision and purpose of the organization and express how passionate you are about it?  (Don’t you want your employees to spread the passion and mission to your customers?)

Are you seeing the pattern here?  If we, as leaders, treated our team with the same enthusiasm, passion, purpose and care as we want everyone to treat our customers, wouldn’t our organizations change?  Wouldn’t our customer service improve?  Wouldn’t our customer satisfaction rise?

I truly believe it would. It would drastically change the atmosphere for both your employees and your customers. So I challenge you this week:

  1. Have a positive and enthusiastic attitude yourself. As a leader, you are being watched. The way you handle frustrations doesn’t go unnoticed. You set the tone of the mood in the office.
  2. Take the time to engage in conversation with your employees. Ask them questions. Know what’s going on in their lives this week.
  3. Keep your employees in the know this week. Let them know that they are a valuable part of your business in the way that you include them.
  4. Encourage your employees by thanking them, and challenge your employees by setting a high bar.

[Tweet “Leadership enthusiasm trickles down to employees whose enthusiasm trickles down to customers.”] It’s just how it works. You have the power to create an enthusiastic atmosphere for both your employees and your customers. Are you up for the challenge?

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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