As I write this post. I am in one of my “hole in the wall” breakfast places (hole in the wall places for breakfast have some of the best food to eat) observing the staff. I am watching their facial expressions and body language as they go about doing their work. Some have smiles. Others have blank nonchalant expressions. All are busy doing their respective tasks. Some of the expressions, depending on the task, appear frustrated in nature. But overall, the chemistry between the workers seems to be pleasant and they all appear to enjoy working together. It seems like a very good team environment with pleasant employee interaction.
The interaction with customers is a bit different. There isn’t a lot of chit chat happening. After a pleasant greeting, you’re asked the standard questions that require a brief customer interaction such as: Have you looked over the menu? What would you like to have? Etc. Once that exchange is complete, it’s off to a new customer or task. There isn’t much time or opportunity for additional conversation, as this particular place is fast pace.
As I sit and consider both the customer and the employee perspectives, I can’t help but wonder if the staff members are in the right positions. I also wonder if other customers are also questioning this as well.
I decided to ask one of the workers in order to get an employee perspective. I explained what I was writing about and I asked a simple question. “Why do you like working here?” Based on her answer, I came away with the following:
She enjoyed the work
She liked the flexible schedule
The money is good
She likes working with/helping people
Familiarity with regular customers
Longevity – 5 years she has been with the company
The conversation gave me more to think about. While very positive and encouraging, I couldn’t help but wonder about the rest of the staff and if they felt the same about their jobs. Time would not permit me to ask them that same question. So, I could only imagine and wonder how they may feel. How they feel about their job is something to strongly consider because of the impact on the customer service experience.
Let’s take the server I had as an example. She was attentive to me. When my order arrived and my toast was visibly burnt (more so than most would have liked) there was no mention of it such as “Oh wow that toast is burnt! Let me get you another piece.” In fact, there was no indication that she even noticed. The plate was down and she was off to the next task. Could it be she was in a rush to get to other customers? Could it be she was just doing this job because it pays the bills? Was she new in her role? Does she really like working with the public? I think as the customer on the receiving end of this type of service-or lack thereof-you may wonder about whether this employee is in the right role when the level of service is not what you would expect.
My entire encounter at my little “hole in the wall” spot gives me pause to ponder why people get into jobs that are not quite a fit for them. Moreover, why does management not see this and work on careful placement of their staff into the right roles so that each individual, and therefore the team, can excel?
It would seem logical that by doing this you get a bonus kind of effect. The worker is placed in a role where they are best suited and they thrive as a result. Management is looked upon as having keen insight based on knowing where best to place the worker in order to develop their skills and talents. The patron is satisfied because the employee has engaged with them. This is due to feeling more successful and as a result more fulfilled because their leadership has helped them to find the right fit. Now the entire team enjoys the work they are doing.
This brings me to 3 points to consider when working to get the customer service experience right.
- Placing your staff in the right job role is key for delivering an exceptional customer service experience. (Take a look at a couple of stats)
Overall, Gallup found that only 13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs. That means they feel a sense of passion for their work, a deep connection to their employee and they spend their days driving innovation and moving their company forward.
The vast majority, some 63%, are “not engaged,” meaning they are unhappy but not drastically so. In short, they’re checked out. They sleepwalk through their days, putting little energy into their work.
A full 24% are what Gallup calls “actively disengaged,” meaning they pretty much hate their jobs. They act out and undermine what their coworkers accomplish.
85% of American workers are happy with their jobs, national survey shows
- Having flexibility and understanding with your staff can bring about a harmonious work environment.
- Remember when I mentioned that there were staff that looked frustrated or disengaged? Connecting with your staff on a human level is key in understanding what motivates them to do their best work. They may become more satisfied and engaged once you have connected the dots using an emotional intelligence perspective.
In closing, your staff members are your internal customers. Take time to connect with them. Don’t just relate to them because they are doing a job. Try to peel back the layers and find out what drives them. Sow into your internal customers the necessary motivation, resources and human concern. By doing this you will certainly bring about a positive change in the employee that will be passed on to the external customer. This type of positive change will undoubtedly enhance the customer service experience greatly.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you have found the information is customer service important please share.