There’s no question that employee engagement is linked to quality customer service in many ways. One aspect of employee engagement that could seriously hinder an employee’s ability to provide excellent customer service is goal clarity. In my past experiences as an employee, I often felt unable to perform my job to the best of my ability because I was confused about how to complete certain procedures when directions were not clear. It is easy for supervisors to explain a goal from their own perspective when what should actually occur is for the supervisor to explain the goal from the employee’s perspective. Since supervisors are often seasoned employees within the company, it’s difficult to explain all of the small component parts of a procedure that may be second nature to them. This is where information is inadvertently omitted from training programs and employees are left feeling confused.
To add to this problem, employees sometimes don’t know what they don’t know. When such a misunderstanding exists, it can be challenging to pinpoint the true source of the problem. This can lead to issues in which individuals don’t understand their job but think they are performing perfectly well. Our recent panel data shows that 67% of employees surveyed felt that they understood the goals of their team to deliver the appropriate brand to customers. Understanding the overall goal is integral to being able to deliver adequate customer service. If what does not understand what he or she is expected to do, there is no way that successful performance, and therefore satisfied customers, can occur.
Enhancing customer service within an organization is yet another prime example of the ways in which engaged employees can pay off for a company. Since quality customer service is at the forefront of many organizations’ goals, it would behoove companies to invest more in engaging employees since this can directly affect this outcome. A well-developed customer experience management plan that includes efforts to increase current employee engagement would likely do wonders for improving customer service, especially with regard to promoting the organization’s overall brand.
Does your organization connect employee engagement or development with customer service? Do you think there are other ways to directly affect the quality of customers’ experience by developing employees?