Three ways to encourage your staff to be more customer focused

Happy customers are more likely to buy from you again and recommend you to family and friends. So how can encourage your staff to be more customer focused?

With so much to do on a daily basis, from chasing leads to keeping your financial paperwork intact, it can be easy to lose sight of the things that matter, such as customer satisfaction.

However, if you neglect your target audience they could easily go elsewhere, so it’s important to keep their happiness top of your list of priorities. And if you have employees working for you, then need to do the same.

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Three ways to encourage your staff to be more customer focused

But how can you ensure that your employees have your customers’ contentment front of mind too? And are willing to go the extra mile to keep them happy? Here are three ways you can encourage your employees to become customer focused.

1) Keep your staff happy

Imagine this. You land a job in a call centre. You go into work with a smile on your face but are quickly faced with reality – a hot office, long hours and no appreciation, ever. Your boss circles the room from time to time but doesn’t even know your name. And, at the end of a tiring day, you know you’ve got to do it all tomorrow.

Your enthusiasm is quickly destroyed – but there’s a problem. You are the voice of the company and you are miserable. So what’s the customer expected to be? Overjoyed? The likelihood is that by now you’ve lost the will to communicate with any kind of upbeat tone and have therefore transferred your negativity to the person on the other end of the phone.

This is no way to continue.

In order to keep staff happy and keep customer rage to a minimum, it’s really important to set incentives such as:

  • Work-related bonuses to inspire staff to do their best.
  • Company trips and team bonding sessions.
  • Inter-company competitions and leaderboards.
  • Regular company award ceremonies and flash prizes.

You might also want to:

  • Rethink your remuneration package and offer perks such as gym membership or vouchers.
  • Have a complaints procedure in place to address grievances and grumbles.
  • Hold regular meetings so that your staff are kept up-to-date with company issues.
  • Share standout achievements to help your team know they are playing an important role.
  • Reward innovation and encourage people to think outside of the box.

All of the above pointers will help to create a more content workforce which should help staff address customers in an upbeat and positive way.

2) Provide essential training

If you want your team to become more customer focused, it’s really important to provide essential training – even to those who have an excellent phone manner or are used to communicating with people face-to-face.

By offering company-based training you will ensure that all members of your team are on the same page and adopt the same approach. Anyone working for your company represents your brand and therefore should know how to tackle various situations.

3) Develop clear lines of communication

It’s fair to say that dealing with customers isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s a good idea to establish clear lines of communication, so that no one feels like they are handling a serious issue alone.

Staff members should know exactly who to email or call if there’s a problem and have the support of an experienced team manager. And, if you notice similar issues are cropping up regularly, there should be a procedure in place to address these.

These clear lines of communication underpin a strong customer-centred approach. If staff are clear about what they’re doing, they’ll be able to act with confidence and professionalism. Remember, the way in which you deal with an issue is super-important and can, in itself, create a positive impression.

Read more advice to keep your customers happy

Customer service is as important to healthy sales as marketing and PR. To help you ensure you’re doing all you can to keep your customers satisfied, here are some more articles we recommend reading:

Photo by Rob Bye