It wasn’t that long ago when businesses were primarily occupied with the idea of sustaining a large number of supervisory and mid-level managers in order to maintain an adequately-trained workforce. However, in the past several years, in light of the struggling economy and employee downsizing, companies have been looking for ways to continue the practice of having competent employees without added expense.
While many businesses have made significant changes in the way they do business just to stay afloat, there are others that have boomed during the recession. Their secret? Staying on top of trends in the marketplace that supply a well-trained workforce without shelling out sometimes unnecessary funding for staff that serves the purpose of training employees.
It’s important that you have the ability to actually show your employees how they can do a better job, rather than merely telling them they need improvement. Here are some simple, yet effective ways that you can really illustrate to your employees how they can improve at their job.
You have an obligation to keep your employees on the cutting edge of both your product and industry trends. Having them up-to-date on the latest software and deliverables will ensure their quality matches the customer’s expectations. One way this can be illustrated is by bringing in some of your competitors’ products so that you and your employees can compare and contrast your product with the competitor’s. Seeing the two products side by side will help emphasize the differences, including how your product excels over the other, or how it can be improved.
Staff in charge of employees is crucial to an organization. Their ability to have effective leadership over an assigned group can either build confidence in the workplace or lead to problems that are sometimes overly complicated and hurt the work environment. Having supervisors and managers whose skillset and training produces the company’s leaders of tomorrow will undoubtedly give any business a boost in morale. The best way you can accomplish this is by making sure that all lines of communication are opened. From having an anonymous comment drop box to a strict open door policy, it’s important that your staff knows that should a problem arise with a supervisor or manager, the problem can be addressed without fear of retaliation.
You see it in the news and on social networks on a regular basis–companies enduring horrific publicity because of a break in compliance standards. Universal access to social media can be a great tool for companies to utilize or the reason for their demise. It’s important that not only does your company know how to respond to negative social media publicity, but also make sure your employees know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior when it comes to media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is best illustrated by making sure your employees feel as though the company they work for is also their own company. Meaning, they’re not merely an employee punching in and out everyday, but rather they’re a valuable and irreplaceable member of the company’s community. You can do this by allowing employees to pursue projects that they’ve come up with themselves and allow for creativity within their position. If the employees have a say in something that is outside their regular duties, they’ll feel as though the ideas they contribute assist in the company’s successes.
On the clock or off, an employee is a representation of the company. And when an employee feels valuable, they will understand that their choices and interaction with the public affects the company. As such, they’ll want to show the company in the best light possible, thus reducing chances that your company will be at the forefront of a publicity nightmare.
Learning From Mistakes
Your customer service representatives are the very face of your company. They are the first ones to engage with your customers. So, it’s extremely important that your reps are well trained and ready to handle any situation that is thrown at them. Whether you’re training a seasoned rep or someone you just hired on, a great tool to utilize is pre-recorded calls. Listening back to a phone call will jog the rep’s memory, making her better equipped to ask or answer any questions that may arise. Often times, a rep may find herself so focused on helping the customer that, once the call ends, she may not remember all of the questions or concerns that may have come up to ask a manager later on.
Indeed a great teaching tool to remedy mistakes, don’t forget to go over pre-recorded calls that were simply exceptional. This will give an unambiguous idea to the rep what is expected of her. Even though she handled the call immaculately, she may not know all the reasons why the call was so great. In addition, this will provide a very necessary component of praise. Especially when you’re in a call center, for example, great calls may go unnoticed. So take this opportunity to really show your employee what a great job she’s done and how valuable her services are to the company.
It’s easier and perhaps even more cost efficient to require that your employees simply read and understand the company’s manual or standards of operations. However, it is unlikely that they’ve actually read through the manual and more likely that they’ve just scanned through it. Showing your employees what’s expected of them rather than telling them will make an immense difference in how they accept constructive criticism and praise, and ultimately how they interact with your customers.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Michelle Juel. Michelle writes about customer service for CallRail. She can be reached at michelle @ callrailnews.com