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National Customer Service Week delivers solutions to non-engaged staff

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5th Oct 2010
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As the UK celebrates National Customer Service Week, concerns have been raised over the detrimental impact that non-engaged employees are having on the customer experience.

National Customer Service Week is the world’s largest celebration of customer service, with over 1,500 people registering their businesses. It has also provided a platform for organisations to highlight the challenges and solutions to customer service challenges.  
According to research from a CIPD report entitled ‘Right Management, Measuring True Employee Engagement’, 70% of engaged employees indicate they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs compared to only 17% of non-engaged employees say the same.
Meanwhile, according to Towers Perrin, three-quarters of highly-engaged staff believe they can impact costs, quality and customer service, while only 25% of the disengaged believe they can.
Andrew Walsh, head of business resources at The Pensions Trust, an Investors in people Champion and Gold award holder, said: "Employees are the best ambassadors for any business. They can make a huge impact on the customer experience, but to do this they need to understand and support the business' aims and objectives.
“Research has shown that an engaged workforce is more motivated and better equipped to meet customer demands. Certainly in our experience, once staff understand where the company is headed and how they can help drive success, putting the customer first becomes second nature.”
In light of the research, Investors in People has recommended the following tips to keep employees engaged:
  • Help employees understand your business goals - staff need to understand where the organisation is going, its promise to customers and how they can help deliver this.
  • Make communications relevant - talk to employees on their own terms and use communication channels familiar to them. There is no 'one-size-fits all' formula that works for every organisation and every person within it.
  • Involve employees - no manager has the monopoly on bright ideas and frontline staff can offer valuable insights. Ask your employees what they think would make customers more loyal, or how best to diffuse difficult phone conversations.
  • Be visible and supportive - employees need to know you're available to give guidance, that you will offer support and that you're interested in their feedback and ideas at all times. This can be as simple as ensuring there are regular team meetings.
  • Celebrate and reward success - individual employees can have a tangible impact on the customer experience. Think about introducing mini-reward schemes that encourage individuals to go above and beyond in the bid to deliver great service.
Walsh adds: “Customer Service Week is an opportunity for all employers to find new ways to build a customer-focused culture that will help their business stand out from the crowd."

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