Richard Branson once said, ‘If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers’. How often do we work for a company that has the opposite approach?
Some companies think in reverse. These companies have sayings such as: “The customer is always right”. Companies define customers as people who purchase goods or services from them. Although the customer is important, the biggest mistake a company can make is to put their entire focus on people on the outside.
The purpose of this article is to help companies prioritize and focus on the most important assets of their company. The first customers of a company are the employees. After all, if employees do not believe in a company, it will be foolish to think anyone else will. So this article will focus on true‘customer’ service.
One of the factors that discourage (young) professionals from returning to the island is not knowing where their next paycheck will come from. For the most, this feeling derives from not having job security. So, taking the time to study and highlight the important elements of companies, helps (young) professionals understand what they should look for and increases the chance of them returning. So, on one hand, we want to give them insight into the traits of good companies and on the other hand, we want to make it clear what kind companies UPG is willing to work with.
Below is a list of what makes good customer service. Companies who do one or more of these things have more satisfied employees and a good reputation. So, if you want to know if your future employer is providing good ‘customer’ service, read on!
Know your customer
Good service begins with knowing your employee base. Some employees feel invisible. They feel as if they are a replaceable piece of the puzzle. As if they can be replaced at any given moment. This happens when companies don’t invest time in getting to know their employees. Employees are people who have to deal with personal as well as professional challenges. Getting to know them and assisting them with these challenges will show them that you appreciate them. So, it pays off when companies get to know the skill-sets of their workers.
When it comes to strengths, there are different types:
Professional skills: This is the skill set that is needed to handle the job correctly. These are also known as hard skills.
Social skills: This is the ability to navigate social environments and build relationships with others.
Emotional skills: This refers to being able to handle pressure, to control your emotions and the ability to handle situations with empathy.
Helping employees develop their skills helps them function better and increases the value of your company. Companies need to remember that employees are not machines, they are human beings.
Think long term
A customer is for life. Developing your employees in a way that guarantees them a career within your company will keep them loyal. Not only loyal, but happy customers talk about your company to others which is always good. Because they feel appreciated, they will also show this in their interactions with their colleagues as well as the customers. Happy employees are also less likely to use passive moves like faking sickness to show dissatisfaction with their employers. In other words, happy employees are reliable employees.
Have you ever called a company, explained your problem to them and then got transferred to someone else and had to do it again? How did that make you feel?
Most people find this irritating. Some hang up and never call back. This isn’t good for business!
A similar thing happens when an employee quits. The relationships that were created with that employee come to an end and needs to be continued by someone else.
If this happens frequently enough, the company will find itself losing its internal as external customers rapidly. But if you focus on making sure your employees are comfortable, they are less likely to leave, and your company will be able to benefit from their work experience and there will be a good work environment with positive energy. You need reliable employees to build reliable relationships.
Go the extra mile
First of all, it’s always important to do what you said you will do. This is the foundation for the services that are being offered. So, if you promise your employee a pay raise, then you should raise their salary if they did their part.
The companies that stand out, are the ones that keep their word and do more than what is expected of them. These are the companies that ask an employee for feedback and when they get it, create a new job description based on the employee’s feedback. These companies take the initiative and anticipate the next moves of their customers. Imagine working for a company that looks for ways to give you a promotion instead of making you beg for one? Would you want to work there?
Clear communication skills
Companies need to communicate clearly with their customers. Above, an example was given about giving an employee a raise in salary.
Good customer service means that the employer will be clear about the requirements to receive the raise.
- The company will take the initiative to set up a meeting with the ‘customer’.
- The goal of the meeting is to understand what the company can do better from the angle of the employee.
- The employer will then explain what the company can do to help the employee.
- The employer will also explain what the new salary will be based on the input of the employee. Small actions equal small pay increase. Innovate or creative actions equal a larger pay increase.
The goal of clearly communicating is to manage expectations. The employee has the freedom to adjust their job description. They will also have an understanding of what this means for their salary. If they are of the opinion that their efforts are not worth the pay raise, they can decide to remain doing their job. However, if they want more, they will know exactly what to do and what they will get in return.
Professionals (especially young professionals) living abroad have a lot to offer to their islands of origin. And it is also clear that they are not all returning. However, their views and thoughts change when they get help with choosing a company to work for, that wants them for what they are bringing to the table, and is also willing to invest in their ideas. These companies make a difference because they say “we don’t have the money to do something, but there is a way to get it done”. These are the types of companies who (young) professionals should look for. As for the (young) professionals, they can also use the list mentioned above to find a good company to work for. What we want to mention, is that not all companies do this, but by uniting as a group you will influence the business community.
The companies who are looking for good workers can use the tips mentioned above to help profile themselves. Companies who fail to adapt sooner or later, find themselves bankrupt. The companies who make a difference keep attracting the right ‘customers’.
So, as Richard Branson once said, ‘If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers’. Your employees are your first customers, so treat them right.