Online Edition - January 2000
Views for a Change
--Those who have ever had the responsibility for fielding customer complaints on a regular basis know only too well the demoralizing impact of a steady diet of customer dissatisfaction.
-- Often they go home after a day of hearing complaints, anger and frustration feeling totally drained, their spirit sapped. They can go only so long without becoming irritable and defensive, and they begin to question their organization and its products and services. Unhappy customers tend to degrade employees, holding them personally responsible for whatever the fault may be. Feelings of self-worth decline. Frowning customers make unhappy employees.
--Now, consider the reverse. Smiling customers make happy employees. Happy customers have positive, outgoing and friendly interactions with employees. Happy customers increase the likelihood that employees will receive the recognition they deserve.
-- Happy customers
return to do business again, and this impacts employees
in many positive ways:
--I can still recall a meeting with an employee who removed a well-worn congratulatory letter from his wallet and showed it to me proudly; it was dated almost two years earlier!
powerful impact, how can we provide increased opportunity
for employees to receive direct feedback from satisfied
customers and capitalize on its motivating
--Make it easy for customers to recognize your employees. American Airlines, for example, provides "You're Someone Special" cards to frequent travelers to be given to employees who have provided exceptional service.
-- The program is elegant in its simplicity. Employees receive instant recognition, and they receive gifts based on the number of cards they are given. I have never failed to see a face light up with a big smile when I give one.
-- Last week, I shared this month's question with an entrepreneur sitting next to me on a flight. His response was simple and direct. "That's easy," he said, "being on a winning team feels good; being on a loosing team feels lousy."