by Sandra Moncada
Customer satisfaction is understandably a primary focus for any successful business. You may also be well-aware of how critical it is to retain top talent. After all, your quality employees play a direct role in customer satisfaction. It can take a considerable amount of time and energy to find the right individuals to join your team, so it is more cost-effective to retain the skilled individuals who are currently working for you.
It is also more expensive in many cases to constantly find new leads and push for a sale than it is to keep your loyal customers coming back. To bolster profits, you need to find a way to establish and maintain great relationships with your satisfied customers.
It may seem contradictory to try to keep your employees and your customers happy at the same time. However, a closer look will reveal how these two goals are closely intertwined and how you can improve your business in these critical areas by making some minor changes to your operations and management efforts.
Understand Why Your Customers and Employees Are Leaving You
As soon as you identify a problem with customer or employee retention, you must dig deeper to understand the cause. By learning what the cause is and how serious the issue is, you can better determine how to respond. In many cases, retention is low when customers and employees do not feel appreciated or valued.
You must treat customers and employees alike with respect, and you must show gratitude in thoughtful ways. For example, offer your valued customers a special word of thanks for their continued loyalty, and offer them discounts or special gifts. Remember that they can always choose to take their business elsewhere, and they want you to show appreciation for deciding to continue a relationship with your company. Employees should also be thanked in different ways to show appreciation for their effort. While bonuses are always appreciated, even a special nod at a weekly meeting may be well-received.
Many business owners are overwhelmingly busy, and they focus attention on the most critical and urgent tasks. Spending a few minutes sending personalized messages or making a few phone calls may seem unnecessary at first glance. However, this is a small and essential way to improve customer retention and employee retention. Just as negative factors about your business can spread, positive factors can also spread through word of mouth. Feed the positive vibe surrounding your business.
Make Room for Tech and Innovation
Technological innovations have dramatically improved the way businesses operate in many ways, but there is a tendency for some businesses to move away from incorporating a human touch to activities. This is detrimental to your customer relationships and to your employee relationships. You must find a way to maximize the benefit of technology without letting it take over.
Focus on the ways that technology can bolster efficiency, save your company money and improve the customer experience. Technology can help your employees to be more productive and happier in their positions. It can also help your employees to better serve your customers, which improves their level of satisfaction.
As beneficial as technology can be, you also need to find ways to incorporate a human element in your management and service activities. Your front-line employees are vital sources of feedback for this type of improvement. Seek out advice and recommendations from them, and make changes as necessary. Remember that these are skilled, valued employees, and their opinions and thoughts can work in your favor.
The right combination of technology may bolster communication, eliminate mundane and repetitive tasks and allow improved collaboration. However, it should not take over your business. Identify ways to retain or improve the human element in your operations.
Leave an Open Door
In some business environments, employees feel undervalued. They believe that their opinions do not matter, and they may muddle through their workday to earn a paycheck until they finally decide to pursue other employment opportunities elsewhere. This is a tough and even expensive way for you to learn that your team is unhappy working for you.
Likewise, when customers do not have an easy and direct way to communicate their grievances to you, they may leave negative reviews online for anyone to read. They may also share their ideas with friends and family members. This type of negative feedback can spread like wildfire, and it can be damaging to your business.
You must create an open-door policy with employees and customers alike. Make yourself available to them as reasonably possible. You may also create an anonymous feedback system. For your employees, offer constructive criticism so that they can improve as needed. Give them improvement opportunities so that they can grow as desired in their careers. Make time to regularly communicate with them in private so that they can share concerns with you.
Remember that it is not enough to simply receive the feedback. You also must determine the best way to act on that feedback. When you make an effort to improve your employees’ satisfaction and your customers’ satisfaction, their overall positivity can lead to retention and even improved profitability.
Customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction are essential to the success of your business. You may find it difficult to run a profitable business without both of them, and you also may find that these factors are closely linked. Are you doing enough to make your customers and employees as happy as possible?
Keeping employees motivated and engaged is one of the best ways to keep them around, and keep customers coming back! Let us know about your thoughts in the comments below.