After decades of research in this area, there is no room for doubt about the direct correlation between customer service excellence and employee morale. Before we go into how this is so, let’s define service excellence: Good customer service is the extent to which a product or service meets the customer’s needs and expectations, whereas excellent service is when these expectations are surpassed. It’s an intangible, unexpected “extra” in the form of a spontaneous, extra feature, experience, or delight. So we seek to not only satisfy but delight our customers. (You can read our blog Defining Service Excellence, to gain even more insight.)
The foundations of service excellence are:
- Knowing the customer
- Understanding their journey
- Personalizing their experience
- Delighting them
- Encouraging their feedback
- Gaining their loyalty
Service Excellence is a Culture
Service excellence is a company mindset and culture that needs to be supported and encouraged throughout all departments, and from the top down. In order to create a culture that delights our customers, we need a customer service team that not only values service excellence but is also highly motivated and engaged. Employee engagement has a direct impact on customer service and overall company profits. Studies show that businesses with the highest levels of employee engagement are 22% more profitable than those with lower levels of engagement (Gallup).
Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability. – Anne M. Mulcahy
Training and Development Gets Your Team Engaged
How do we bring about and sustain employee engagement? How do we nurture this relationship, so they feel inspired and happy to come to work? There are many ways to achieve this, but one of the most important ways is to invest in quality training and development. Any time you invest in your team, they feel more valued, involved, and become more engaged. Here are some of the benefits of investing in your workforce:
- They Have a Common Goal – Taking training together really helps create a sense of comradery and understanding. Employees can work together on course modules, discuss the content, and how it applies to their work. They see how the concepts are part of the company culture, so they gain clarity on what is expected of them.
- Less Staff Turnover – Companies who invest in employees have fulfilled, more productive employees. As a result, there are a lot fewer absences and decreased staff turnover. Anyone working in Human Resources knows that staff turnover is not a good thing!
- Increased Knowledge and Productivity – Education and training gives employees the current knowledge and skills they need to do their job well, and with more confidence.
- Enhanced Customer Service Culture – Creating a unique customer service culture encourages solidarity and a sense of belonging. This culture not only applies to how customers are treated, but how employees treat each other. In one study, companies with engaged employees had 89% greater customer satisfaction and 50% higher customer loyalty than their disengaged counterparts. (Hay Group)
- Boosts in Morale with Awards and Recognition – A great way to make employees feel valued is to officially recognize and acknowledge their certifications. Also, service excellence awards, whether earned as a company or as an individual do a lot to increase employee enthusiasm and promote a strong team spirit.
So, as you can see, striving for service excellence contributes in many ways to the company’s overall success, including — but not limited to — an engaged and dedicated workforce.