What Would Your Customer Service Reps Say?

Does your company regularly solicit your employees’ feedback on their views of the company?  How is it done?  How often?  Is it through controlled surveys? What are the dimensions across which you’re looking for feedback?  What does your executive team do with that information?  Does your company leadership know the biggest driver of employee loyalty?

I ask these questions for two reasons.  I’m in a business that has a reputation for high employee turnover, low job satisfaction and not much loyalty towards the company for which people work.  I refer particularly to those people on the front lines.  The life blood of the company that do the real work every day.

Today, I was digging through some boxes as I’m moving my office and came across a book that contains unfiltered open-ended employee commenary about a company.

Here’s a sample:

  • Since the first day, I’ve felt like I was part of a family
  • I strive to embody the company’s values, but I’m not perfect. 
  • What separates us from every other company? You actually WANT to go above and beyond
  • Its a place where I feel I can be me.
  • I find myself using our values to make decisions outside of work
  • Here you can share your ideas with everyone
  • I have never felt so accepted
  • Everyday I wake up thinking I’m the luckiest person on Earth
  • Its about the way we treat eachother
  • Its about believing we can accomplish anything
  • We always take the positive road

All of these comments came from employees at one company.  Can you guess which one? 

What’s stopping your customer service employees (and all your employees for that matter) from saying such things about you?

Post script: If you’re in a position of leadership within your organization, you may not be able to get here overnight.  But, this is a good starting point.

Comments

  1. Good article. All comany employees should feel that way or else there will be high turnover among the dissatisfied.
    Employees that feel respected, appreciated and accepted are better equiped to serve their customers the same way.

  2. I've seen companies implement strategies that were designed to boost this kind of morale (with things like suggestion boxes and "training sessions" which were really just nicely disguised pep talks and team-building games), but the effect never sustained. Co-workers who had a good opinion of the company directly after one of these rallies would, a week later, mention how they're looking for another job.

    Almost all of my working life has been in customer service, and I find the bulleted list you have here to be highly quixotic. Admittedly, this is probably because my experience tells me that the implementation is often so misguided. The concerned manager, for example, asking for suggestions and feedback from their employees is something that is almost absolutely obviously designed to fail, for the following reason: managers and business owners have their own agenda, separate from the agenda of their workers. Workers are quite concerned with their own condition, and their own paycheck. Managers and business owners are more concerned with what is lucrative, what is feasible, what is inexpensive.

    Often, when employees are asked for their opinions, it's a lot like a teacher asking for that one answer they want to hear. The company will nod and commend other bits of feedback, but there is ultimately nothing on their roster that can utilise those comments. It's very discouraging for the worker to be asked for opinions and then glossed over with a nod and a "good," with no further action.

    But this is not the company's nor manager's fault, because the suggestions are usually bad suggestions. Workers are ignorant of the inner dealings and plans that the leaders of a company have, so their suggestions are inept and patronised. Often, though, this result leaves such a bad taste in the mouths of the workers, that it is worse off than if they were never asked for feedback at all.

    In short, the methods by which companies go about trying to boost morale can appear quite fake and insincere, lowering even further the opinion a worker has for his company.

  3. I work in customer service for a large company in the uk I make up part of the managment team of the front line in a shop. Once a year they send round a survey through our intranet asking bout how we are feeling and what we would like to see happen. six months later they release a sort of mission statement. sounds positive doesn't it?
    They do make changes but they always miss the point, keep your staff happy then you will get better service to your customers. They often do not address the most important issues that the front line staff are struggling with.

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