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.

Want To Increase Your CX Skills?

Contact me me for mentorship. Sign Up for my newsletter. You’ll get instant access to my free whitepaper about going from CX Novice to CX Expert.

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.

 

Customer Feedback Best Practices. DoingCXRight

How To Leverage “Smiles & Frowns” To Improve Customer Experiences

You’ve probably seen signs in restaurants, hotels, and other locations requesting customers for feedback about their experiences. It is common practice more than ever before, even in unusual places like public bathrooms. Focusing on customer experience (CX) and capturing the Voice of Customers (VOC) feedback is smart business. Yet if the execution is not done right, it is wasted effort.

Continue Reading →

Should NPS Be Tied To Employee Compensation?

The Great Debate: Should Employee Paychecks Be Linked To Customer NPS?

Measuring customer satisfaction and identifying “pain points” for improvement is common practice at nearly all best-in-class companies. While there’s no question about the importance of customer experience (CX) and employee (EX) too, there is a debate about WHICH metric is best and HOW to apply it within organizations. The Wallstreet Journal recently published an interesting article about Net Promoter Score and whether or not it is misleading. I really like the topic and so, I wrote about my own views after reading it. Of all my articles published, this one caused what I call “good commotion.” The section about “Should NPS Scores Be Tied To Employee Bonuses” is controversial, as there are valid reasons for and against it. I’ve summarized feedback from my blog readers so you can form your own opinion. There’s no one right or wrong answer.

6 ADVANTAGES OF LINKING NPS TO EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION:

  • Drives employee accountability to deliver customer excellence. Employees at all levels take customer satisfaction more seriously when they have “skin in the game.”
  • Creates a customer-obsessed culture. It’s a proven tactic.
  • Sends a message to employees that customer loyalty matters. It demonstrates that the company is “walking the CX talk” and not just saying the words in a mission statement.
  • Measures customer perceptions in a meaningful way and everyone contributes to it, more than traditional methods like “share of eyeball.” NPS is good for benchmarking purposes too.
  • Serves as an employee motivator. Incentives drive behavior.
  • Leads to faster employee follow up with customers. Helps drive “closed loop” compliance.

6 REASONS AGAINST It. The flip-side:

  • Data can be unreliable. People inevitably learn to influence the numbers and beg for high scores, thereby corrupting the system. It defeats the purpose when employees bribe customers for a high satisfaction rating.
  • Employee Satisfaction Matters More. If employees are happy and loyal, then customer satisfaction will inevitably happen.
  • Net Promoter Score is too limiting. NPS does not include key drivers of WHY customers will or will not recommend a company.
  • Surveys aren’t always administrated fairly. Bias is a concern. There’re companies that don’t police the data or have an impartial client advocate leading the survey process.
  • Incentivizing leads employees becoming too concerned with the score. It creates an environment where they focus on the numbers instead of delighting customers.
  • Creates an unfriendly work environment when it’s unclear WHO’S responsible for a detractor (and promoter) score. The value of a score and customer comments gets lost in “blame” and “glory” games.

MY Professional PERSPECTIVE:

I have worked in organizations where NPS scores were tied to Executives and my CX teams’ objectives and paychecks. I’ve also been at companies where ALL employees were held accountable for CX metrics. While I understand both sides of the debate, my opinion is that the pros of linking NPS to EVERYONE’S compensation outweigh the cons, with a few considerations.

KEY FACTORS FOR NPS & Employee SUCCESS:

  • Company leaders must communicate and educate employees about why and how the NPS score is calculated, so they understand it is a credible metric and trust the process. Employee buy-in goes a long way.
  • Reinforce that everyone owns the customer experience (CX) just like other financial results. Keep the drumbeat going so employees put customers first, even when their boss isn’t looking. I recommend including CX topics on every meeting agenda. Celebrate the good scores (promoters) and problem solve (detractors) to reduce churn, as I discuss in my other article: building a customer-centric culture.
  • Use a third party or unbiased internal team to conduct surveys across the customer journey to eliminate questions about validity and unfairness.

What are your views about linking employee paychecks to NPS as well as other customer satisfaction metrics? Are you in favor or against it, and why?

increase your CX Skills & Transform Your Organization:

  • Sign Up for my newsletter. You’ll get instant access to my free whitepaper about going from CX Novice to CX Expert. Contact me for mentorship too.
  • Follow DoingCXRight on Twitter and Instagram for daily updates. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Let’s keep the conversations going to create better experiences for everyone.

*ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE STACY’S & DO NOT REFLECT VIEWS OR IMPLY ENDORSEMENT OF EMPLOYERS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS.

Inspirational Ways To Increase Your CX Skills by Stacy Sherman

5 Inspirational Ways To Increase Your CX Skills

People often ask me for advice on how to increase their CX skills. They want to understand more about the customer experience field and proven methodologies to differentiate their brands. While I mentor them based on my 20 years of CX experiences, I also share additional ways to learn. Below are some of my favorites sources. Whether you are new to the CX field or a long-time practitioner, I’m confident that you will find value in reading my article.   Continue Reading →

How To Humanize Customer Experience In The Digital Age

How To Humanize Customer Experiences In The Digital Age

Not too long ago, consumers had to drive to a retail store to purchase what they wanted. Customer experience (CX) had a different meaning. The launch of digital apps and websites significantly changed our lives offering more convenience, time savings, expanded product choices, and easier access to offers and promotions. Though there are a lot of advantages to digital shopping, it’s harder for companies to differentiate their brands. Easy ordering and on-time delivery are customary. Free shipping and simple return processes are the norms. When it does not go as expected, then customers get irate, and satisfaction scores decline. So then….

How Do Companies Best Compete In The Digital Age?

The answer is simple, but implementation takes creativity. Brands need to focus on differentiating themselves by providing memorable experiences that remain in peoples’ minds even after a transaction is complete. The following is a personal story that demonstrates my point.

A friend of mine, who knows I love granola, suggested I try a new brand that she thought was amazing. At the time, I could not find a store near me to visit in person but was able to buy on the company’s website. My online purchase experience went smoothly. There was nothing that stood out UNTIL my package arrived. That’s when there was an ELEMENT OF SURPRISE that keeps me talking and referring Kelly’s Four Plus Granola (aside from its great tasting product).  

  1. There was a card enclosed in the box with a message about how I purchased the “freshest Granola possible” and that it is “handmade in small batches in their Norwalk, CT kitchen.” I liked reassurance and felt confident that I made the right choice. But more importantly….
  2. There was a hand-written thank you note, as you can see below. I was impressed by the fact that management took the time to personalize it to me. It seems mundane, but I noticed and  loved it.

The Point of My Customer Experience Story:

The company went up and beyond to make me feel good about my purchase, aside from delivering a great product. As a result, I’ve shared with people on social media and am authentically bragging about the company to you. “Word of mouth” recommendations are a marketers dream and the premise of NPS (Net Promoter Score). I believe every company can apply similar principles regardless of industry.

Customer Experience Lessons:

  • Show customers that you value them. Small gestures, like a handwritten note, can go a long way.
  • Personalize as much as possible. Just because a transaction is digital does not mean you can’t humanize customer experiences. In fact, it becomes even more important when technology is involved.
  • Take advantage of all channels to thank customers. A letter in a fulfillment box is a great tactic, especially if there’s a savings coupon enclosed. Service providers can also provide “Wow Moments” by giving a similar note to customers when visiting them onsite.
  • Communication is a sure way to delight customers.  Read my other article about 5 Tips To Improve CX and EX.

Humanizing Customer Experiences In The Digital Age


Kelly’s Four Plus Granola is not the only one to differentiate its brand in a personalized way. Stacy’s Pita Chips is another company that deployed a brilliant marketing and CX strategy. Read my unexpected customer experience story here, which actually ignited my interest in the CX field.

Increase your CX Skills & Transform Your Organization.

All About DoingCXRight

Continue reading “How To Humanize Customer Experiences In The Digital Age”

Is Net Promoter (NPS) Score Bogus? WSJ Article

“Is Net Promoter (NPS) Score Misleading?” My Views About WSJ Article

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that is creating some commotion. It raises the question of whether or not “Net Promoter Score,” otherwise known as “NPS,” is a good measurement of customer satisfaction. Many customer experience (CX) experts say yes. They depend on NPS as a sole metric to determine customers’ perceptions and feelings about their brand. However, others debate the validity and usefulness of Net Promoter Score, saying that “the science behind NPS is bad, and it’s been oversold.” Continue Reading →

Customer Experience Tip by DoingCXRight

CX Example That Stands Out Above The Rest

I'm constantly focussed on new ways to maximize customer satisfaction (beyond price factors) and increase employee engagement. Whether I am at my day job or on vacation, my CX hat is on. I pay attention to everything, including how employees communicate with customers as well as how employees interact with one another. My recent trip was no different when visiting The Lodge At Woodloch with my family. I could write a book about my Woodloch experience, however, there's a specific CX example that impressed me the most.

Continue Reading →

Women Leadership and Customer Experience

Women Leadership & Customer Experience

There’s an increasing amount of conversations about both customer experience (CX) as well as diversity in the workplace, and. I love it! I believe that the next generation, including my own daughter, will have more opportunities to share their voice, without judgments, and pursue jobs that they may not have in the past.

I’m writing this article for two reasons:

Continue Reading →

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?

DoingCXRight by Stacy Sherman

*All opinions expressed are Stacy views and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Food Services & Customer Experience Lessons

Yelp & SMS Turn Restaurant Experience From Mediocre To Great

How many times have you gone to a restaurant that does not take reservations and felt frustrated about the wait time? If you’re like me, it is too many to count.

While many companies tend to focus on customer experiences at the point people are actually using products and receiving services, brand perception and customer judgments occur much earlier in the customer journey. People don’t care if there are internal company process challenges. If expectations are not met, customers will go elsewhere.

Continue reading “Yelp & SMS Turn Restaurant Experience From Mediocre To Great”