This blog post is the second in a series of three that will offer helpful insights into improving your sales by employing better customer services practices. In the last post, we defined superior customer service as understanding how to exceed customer expectations by knowing exactly who your customers are and what they want. But while providing this type of customer service is ultimately the goal, it can only be achieved if you have the right personnel. As the leader of your company, you need to know that effective management starts by aligning values with goals and a day-to-day plan. When you pass along strong values and a sense of empathy to your employees, they will, in turn, learn to use these tactics when trying to better understand the customer.
Finding Out the “Why”
There are a myriad of reasons why we get up every morning, put our boots on and drive headlong into that morning rush hour commute. Money and family are obvious ones. But what about helping people? Or, an inherent drive to be the best in a particular field? Whatever the reason is, this is known as your employees “why.” Much like customers, employees can take themselves and their skills elsewhere if they feel like a company is not helping them achieve their why. A good manager needs to not only understand their employees’ why, but they also need to find ways to help their employees cultivate and maintain it. If an employee is passionate about pursuing management, it is the manager’s job to provide them constantly with new challenges and opportunities for them to move up within the company. If an employee is motivated by providing for their family, ask them how things are going at home or figure ways for the employee to see their family more.
Showing interest in their why lets employees know that they can’t find a boss like you anywhere and will motivate them to work harder and with more enthusiasm. And when an employee is motivated, it becomes that much easier for them to learn and thrive.
Improve Your Language Skills
In the previous article, we talked about the Golden Rule and the idea of being the company you’d want to call. Well, the same applies to management. Before you evaluate the talent of your team, put yourself in their shoes and ask if you are providing the leadership and guidance that you would seek if you were in their position. One way to do this is by using more positive language. There’s an old saying, “Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.” Instead of emphasizing what is not possible, it is more beneficial to remind your team what is possible and how things can be solved. Rather than using phrases such as “that can’t work” or “we won’t be trying that,” focus on using encouraging phrases like, “I appreciate your input on this” or “that’s an interesting perspective.” While using more positive verbal language, remember to use body language that reinforces this positivity and that you are engaged in the conversation.
Embrace the Art of Active Listening
In order for your employees and customers to really feel like they’re being heard, managers need to learn how to be active listeners. Rather than passively taking in the message of the speaker, an active listener gives their full attention to the speaker and engages all senses to comprehend the message. When an employee is speaking their mind or sharing a new idea, remember to smile, mimic their posture, maintain eye contact and mirror their body language to let them know that you’re invested in what they are saying. After they’ve expressed their sentiment, ask questions, repeat or paraphrase something you heard and summarize your interpretation of what was said. Employing active listening skills will not only help you get the most out of your employees, but it will also prove to them that their ideas and opinions matter and are valued within the company.
Overall, customer service is a holistic practice and it moves throughout the entire company. Treat your employees with the respect and values you want to convey to your customers, and they will likely do the same. Stay tuned for part three!
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