Employees must love a company before your customers ever will - Simon Sinek
While many companies are born from an idea of how to serve a market or solve a problem in a new or unique way, in time, the idea turns into a company with employees, partners, and customers.
Real, breathing, people.
I’ve been involved in far too many situations over the years where a significant portion of the employee base not only didn’t LOVE the product or service (weird, I know), but frustrations with the company or organization as whole were palpable.
It’s one thing when this affects members of middle management or leadership, but another thing entirely when front-line or customer-facing team members are carrying this frustration through their interactions with prospects or customers.
Well before this disconnect reaches a point where people who are on your payroll are actively dissuading your customers from doing business with you, this cost shows up in the form of a drag on the quality of customer service, underdeveloped relationships, or even – and perhaps most measurably – a reduction in sales conversion rates or cross-sell/up-sell attach rates.
Contrast this with when you’ve captured the hearts and imaginations of your team.
The energy they bring to their role and the excitement that exudes over the phone when a prospect calls to ask a basic question, offers no comparison to when the love is gone.
So, what do we do?
When you run the show, there are enough things to worry about to keep you plenty busy at all hours of the day (or night).
Why can’t the team we worked so hard to recruit and train just do their jobs and be done with it?
Because you hired real, breathing, people.
While the specific tactics to resolve this will vary based on the size of the team, and most importantly, the specific individual(s) in need of your leadership, here are a few fundamental questions you might ask yourself or your executive team:
1. How often do we set aside the time to listen to what our employees value most about their experience working with us?
The key here is listening. Most leaders are all too quick to dive in and tell people what they want to say to affect change. Make time to ask deep questions and be ready to listen, take notes, and act.
2. When was the last time we recognized an individual or team for modeling the behaviors (not just results) that we want the rest of the organization to emulate?
If you’re recognizing results, great. That’s usually where we all start. You’ll find a compounding effect happens when you’re able to identify AND recognize the behaviors you want to encourage.
3. How well can each person in our organization effectively convey the bigger picture or purpose to which their daily tasks are connected?
I get it. We can’t all be in the business of solving world hunger. That doesn’t mean we can’t find something that is either directly or indirectly related to a cause your team can rally behind.
What brands come to mind when we think of the experiences we have had where it was clear and obvious that the employees LOVED the company?
How did that affect you as a customer (or prospect)?
This shows up when we hear stories from friends or family who rave about the way a real, breathing, person treated them when making a purchase or receiving a service.
I’d love to hear about your experiences, or what you’ll implement this week. Drop me a note or a comment.
Committed to creating more companies customers care about…