In today’s marketplace, customers have more choices and louder voices than ever before. Hence, customer satisfaction may not be enough. Instead companies are striving to create customer delight. However, before you can delight your customers, you may need to take a look at your internal customers.
Want Customer Delight? Involve your staff.
Today’s employees want to be involved! Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. Morrison Management has found that for every 2% increase in employee engagement they increase client satisfaction by 1%.
Here are ACTIONABLE ways that three different organizations engage their employees and create customer delight.
- Celebration Cinema is a chain of theatres throughout Michigan and they are known for their Celebrated Service.® They empower their staff members with free movie passes to hand out in the community whenever they receive excellent service. Says Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs, “You’d think that we’d have movie passes going out right and left, but our staff holds on to them until they’ve really experienced WOW Service.” The key is that once staff members gift someone with the passes, they must come back and share the story of why they felt the service warranted the reward. Then they discuss the correlation between the service they received and how they can create customer delight at Celebration Cinemas! Brilliant! Through this strategy, they are teaching their team what Celebrated Service® means, and I can tell you first hand that the experience created in their lobbies is as wonderful as in the actual theatre!
- Methodist Senior Services, a non-profit organization that has several retirement communities throughout Mississippi, engaged several of their staff members to become Mission Messengers. Leadership and line staff were trained to deliver their new customer service training throughout their organization, and they did so with great success. Giving staff members this kind of responsibility not only assists in their professional development, but it provides a sense of ownership. They have a core group of people at all levels who are 100% committed to seeing their customer service efforts succeed. As a result of this and other strategies, they have seen a positive difference in interactions between staff and residents, and their employee engagement scores jumped significantly from 2014 to 2016. In fact, they are at the top of the Holleran benchmark in the senior living industry.
- Parkcrest Dental Group has served the Southwest Missouri area for the last 40 years. Recently I got to sit in on one of their team meetings and their culture of engagement was very clear. During the meeting team members had a variety of roles to play, with several people making announcements. Leadership shared positive yelp reviews and appreciation for staff was shared on numerous occasions. They made time to share jokes and good news, and staff members could thank co-workers for being “life savers,” even offering gifts of gratitude. I mentioned how impressed I was to one of the doctors and he told me, “this culture was established long before I arrived.” When you are intentional about creating your culture, employees are engaged and customer delight becomes a more achievable goal. In fact, Parkcrest Dental has grown significantly and recently saw a record number of patients in one month’s time.
How do you an hourly employee who has never received red carpet customer service, to give it? You must model for them! Involve them in the process of building your culture and they will look for opportunities to create customer delight!
Donna Cutting is the Founder & Chief Experience Officer of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., a firm that delivers training and tools to help people create customer delight within their organizations. Read more about Celebration Cinema and Methodist Senior Services in her book 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers.