Do your customers shake their heads in disbelief – not because things are bad – but because things are amazing… no, extraordinary?
I read this great new phrase, “head-shaking,” in an article in Staffing Management Magazine that describe the responses customers have at Umpqua Bank, a Portland, Oregon-based bank chain. Not only has this bank ranked in the prestigious 100 Best Places to Work list for the fifth consecutive year, but it is also a bank – at a time when banks are so unpopular.
This organization has a culture that engages and inspires its employees. All employees are actively focused on exceptional service and are committed to the goals and direction of the company.
So I have to ask – why is this the situation the exception instead of the norm? Why are we so impressed when employees provide outrageously great service, and that employees could actually like working for an organization?
More and more organizations are becoming aware that what drives the bottom line is customer loyalty, inspired by employees who consistently do exceptional things for customers to engage them emotionally in the service event. Most any organization can ensure a customer gets what he asks for. But this level of service does not inspire customer loyalty – only satisfaction. And satisfied customers don’t necessarily come back, and they rarely tell their friends about you – loyal customers do. Loyalty drives the bottom line.
So to move from satisfaction to loyalty requires employees who not only work hard to always get it right for customers, but are emotionally invested in doing the extras to win customers for life.
So let’s look at what needs to be in place to engage and inspire this kind of employee performance:
1. The employee must be working in a role in which he feels capable and competent, and which appeals to him. Great performance never happens when employees are not good at, or hate, what they do.
2. The organization has a clear and compelling vision (“why” statement) that attracts like-minded people as employees and customers, and a commitment to greatness.
3. Management believes that it must first be an employee-focused workplace, and by building a culture that supports employees, the organization becomes a customer-focused organization. The workplace openly values, communicates with and respects its employees.
Organizations like Umpqua Bank understand the connection between great results, loyal customers and engaged employees – they work daily to create a powerful workplace culture that activates and supports the best from their employees. Then, employees are emotionally invested into the process of service greatness – they own their work, their impact, their reputation and their results.
How “head-shaking” is your service?
Please pass this on to someone who can benefit from it and contact me to help you create an employee-focused workplace capable of providing “head-shaking” service.
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2010 at 10:38 am and is filed under For Managers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.