10 Employee Appreciation Tips by Stacy Sherman

How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture Though Employee Appreciation (10 Tips)

It’s no secret that happy employees yield better business results. There’s a lot of research indicating customer satisfaction and loyalty rises when employees enjoy their jobs and workplace. They go hand-in-hand. As leadership expert Simon Sinek says, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first. I agree, and also know that creating a great company culture does not happen automatically or overnight. It requires intentional design and ongoing focus. As Thanksgiving approaches, take time out to show gratitude at work (not just in your personal life). Walk the talk and keep the momentum going.  

10 Authentic Ways To Thank Employees:

  1. Send hand-written thank-you notes. Recognize employees for delighting customers.
  2. Send newsletters to each department. Personalize messages. No “cookie-cutter” approach.
  3. Invite teams to an Executive meal based on NPS scores and positive customer feedback.
  4. Publicize awesome work. Brag about individuals & teams on the company website.
  5. Enable people to recognize each other. Gamify experiences. Tie prizes to customer value.
  6. Send cake and balloons to top-performing sales offices and those with Y/Y improvements.
  7. Buy lunch for people resolving customer issues daily i.e. call center reps.  
  8. Create a CEO video message thanking employees for creating customer promoters.
  9. Offer a bonus or day off to those who routinely demonstrate customer excellence.
  10. Feed employees and show up. My employer, Schindler Elevator Corporation, demonstrated this perfectly. Company Executives literally served happiness at employee Thanksgiving lunch in the cafeteria. (See my Linkedin for photos)

culture starts with you! appreciate employees at all levels

“69% of employees work harder when they feel appreciated. 79% feel motivated when recognized.” (Work.com). See more statistics in the infographic below. Given the facts, why don’t Executives and Managers thank their employees more frequently? One study reveals that “51% of workers are recognized once a quarter.” I’ve been in organizations where it’s more like once per year. I’m challenging everyone to change that. Culture starts at the top but requires bottom-up actions too.

Doing CX Right Reminders:

  • Small acts of kindness go a long way. “People may forget what you said or did, but never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
  • Employees are your heroes. If they don’t feel important, your customers will feel it.
  • Don’t wait for formal end of year reviews. If you’re not appreciating employees throughout the year, your competitors will. They’re searching for great talent.
  • Don’t overthink it. Thank employees everywhere i.e. meetings, cafeteria, parking lot.
  • Be empathetic and sincere. Employees know when managers are “checking a box.”
  • Get more ideas from my other article: 14 Ways To Celebrate CX Day
Employee Satisfaction and DoingCXRight
Source: Ashley Johnson

 

How do YOU build a customer-centric culture? Please comment below and join conversations on my Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages. Let’s keep the conversations going to humanize experiences and maximize happiness everywhere.

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Appreciating Employees and Why It Matters
Source: Salesforce

If you like this article, read more about driving Customer-Centric Cultures and Employee Engagement. 

*All views expressed are mine & do not reflect opinions of or imply endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

Why The Best CEOs Invest In Customer Experience

Why The Best CEOs Invest In Customer Experience

Some companies invest in Customer Experience (CX) as an afterthought. Other brands are 100% focussed on allocating resources to create customer excellence. They purposely establish budgets to build and expand a CX team, and measure customer satisfaction and related KPIs daily. They also close the loop to fix identified customer pain points. Continue Reading →

Employees Impact Customer Experiences By DoingCXRight

What Makes Customers Brand Loyal? (Hint: It’s Not Price)

The smallest gestures by frontline employees can be a significant reason shoppers turn into repeat buyers. I was reminded of this when buying clothing at a department store recently. Upon bringing my items to the register, the nice woman asked questions about my day and overall shopping experience. I was surprised by our first interaction as warm greetings don’t happen frequently enough. Why is that? Saying “hello” and good-bye” is such an easy way to delight customers. I especially love when company owners greet customers. (Read my Woodloch story).

Besides a pleasant dialogue when first meeting, my experience got even better. The lady scanned each item and noticed that none of the clothes I was buying were on sale. She asked me if I had any promotional offers but unfortunately, I did not. She proceeded to explain that customers who have their store credit card receive discounts, and then inquired if I wanted to get one. I kindly declined and was prepared to pay full price for the items. At that moment, the woman went into her drawer and took out a coupon to apply to my purchase. She saved me $25. Although it was not a significant amount of money, it was a highly satisfying moment. I did not expect her to provide me any discount especially since I declined the credit card offer. I thanked the woman twice and told her how much I appreciated my purchase experience ALL BECAUSE OF HER. I walked out of the store a happy customer and continue to be a repeat purchaser.   

My personal story provides several customer experience lessons:

  • Frontline employees matter. They matter a lot! Businesses need to empower their staff to be brand ambassadors. Managers need to encourage employees to surprise and delight customers even when they are not looking.
  • Company leaders need to recognize employees who create exceptional experiences. When employees are happy, customers benefit too. Attitudes are contagious.
  • Buyers often care more about EXPERIENCE over PRICE when choosing brands. There’s tons of research to prove this statement. I especially like a report published by CMO. It emphasizes that experiences drive customer loyalty and that addressing customer needs must be FIRST PRIORITY!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM MERKLE’S  RESEARCH STUDY:

  • “More than half (52%) of online buyers said they stopped shopping on a brand website due to bad site experiences.” I 100% agree, which is why I’m a big advocate of doing user testing with real customers in pre AND post-launch stages.
  • “Word of mouth is the most organic and valuable form of marketing, and it will only increase when customers feel that their experience is worth sharing.” Yes indeed, which is why so many companies rely on the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • “Customers are looking for long-term, connected experiences that are as EFFICIENT as they are enjoyable.” This is very true, and why I emphasize the importance of including “level of effort” in CX measurement programs. NPS is useful but even more so when combined with other metrics. Read the Wallstreet article and my personal views about this topic.

 

What is your perspective?

I’m interested in hearing examples of when a company employee went above and beyond to make your buying experience a memorable one. How did you feel? Did you purchase again because of that experience, even when you could buy somewhere else for a better price? Share your views by joining CX conversations on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.   

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Continue reading “What Makes Customers Brand Loyal? (Hint: It’s Not Price)”

improve cx in organization

Want Happy Customers? Focus On Employees First.

There’s a common phrase, “Happy Employees Bring Happy Customers.” It is so true! When people feel valued and enjoy their workplace, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to delighting customers and maximizing their satisfaction and loyalty.

So, how does a company apply this principle to achieve business growth? The following are 5 effective ways that apply to all industries:

Create a Customer-Centric Organization

A centralized customer experience organization is able to monitor the quality of the experiences they deliver.

This kind of organizational setup enables teams to take action on Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback, including structured data (i.e. surveys) and unstructured sources (i.e. social media.). It helps ensure there are clear actions and ownership in the company, plus a champion of customer-first culture at the top.

Empower Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is essential to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Collecting customer feedback is great. However, this is a wasted effort if employees don’t execute on improvement plans.

Employees have a direct impact on customer experiences. In an environment with low employee engagement, success metrics like NPS scores inevitably decline. If you think about the most successful brands, they trust their employees and routinely measure their level of job happiness.

Again, if you want to delight customers, make sure employee satisfaction is included in the overall strategy.

Train Employees on CX

Every level of the organization must be educated about the importance of customer experience and how they can make a difference! This includes front line employees, managers, and executives.

Furthermore, every employee must be held accountable for delivering customer excellence. To promote accountability, I highly recommend including CX metrics in everyone’s annual objectives. Include the ability to get bonuses when employees achieve goals, similar to other key performance indicators (KPIs). I have tested this theory throughout my career and can unequivocally say that, when CX is a shared goal among all employees (not just a few) business results are significantly better.

Humanize Experiences

Emphasize the importance of humanizing customer experiences throughout your organization. This starts with meeting customer needs without over-complicating processes.

Often, small things mean the most. For instance, using simple “please” and “thank you” statements help make customers feel like they matter. It is actually the secret to Chick-fil-A’s success. Also, “eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience.”

When customers feel appreciated, they are more satisfied. And they are more likely to recommend brands to others. The concept is obvious. Yet, it’s surprising how often employees forget the human element when they interact with customers.

Leverage Technology The Right Way

Many companies use tools and platforms to fully understand what customers are saying across channels and touchpoints. However, they don’t always incorporate the Voice of Employee (VOE), which is a key element in building a successful customer-centric program.

Employees need to know their opinions count. When that happens, they become better performers who are more motivated to serve customers, fix their issues (“Close The Loop”), and do the right thing even when their boss isn’t looking.

If you want to drive accountability and a CX culture, focus first on employees. Then look at technology. Not the other way around.

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CX SKILLS & TRANSFORM YOUR ORGANIZATION?

Continue reading “Want Happy Customers? Focus On Employees First.”

Outside-In vs. Inside Out Thinking

Outside-In vs. Inside-Out Thinking

Today, we’re pleased to share a guest post by Annette Franz, CCXP of CX Journey. This article originally appeared on her site on August 11, 2015.

In the world of customer experience, what’s the difference between outside-in and inside-out? Continue Reading →

Your Company Culture Is Your Brand

How To Infuse CX Into Your Company Culture​

What is company culture, why is it important and how does customer experience play a role? According to Webster, it is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” Culture is very important because it impacts Continue Reading →

Loyalty Program Success Depends On Great CX

Important Lessons In Retaining Customers

Loyalty programs are a great way for companies to entice people to buy again and again. Customers continue to subscribe and purchase when they can earn points that are redeemable for products and services they perceive as Continue reading “Important Lessons In Retaining Customers”