It’s pretty much accepted that the higher the level of employee engagement then the better performance one can expect from the company. Nowhere else does this statement seem more apt than in retail.
I’m a stickler for customer service, as most people know, and I believe that how you’re treated as a customer is the best means of promotion. On the shop floor you’ll find the best and worst examples of this in action.
One of my bugbears is when you are in a shop, wandering round trying to find a particular item. Suddenly, walking past, you spot a member of staff in uniform. “Excuse me, could you help me?”
“I’m sorry, my shift just finished and I’m leaving for the day.”
Granted sometimes people have places to go but to me that type of response suggests someone who is clearly disengaged with the values of the company. You’ve probably witnessed similar situations yourself.
A recent overheard conversation…
Last weekend I was out doing my usual weekly shop. At the deli counter I was queuing behind a lady who was having a conversation with the server. Clearly the customer was a former member of staff. “You’re lucky to get out” said the lady serving, “It just gets worse here. On Wednesday y’know I was ready to walk out.”
I couldn’t help but think ‘Oh dear’. We all dislike our jobs at some point or another but to be quite content in disclosing this information at the top of your voice whilst surrounded by a queue of customers is the action of an employee who is more than a bit upset.
To be fair to the lady, it didn’t affect the interaction I had with her but it makes you think about the times when it does. Does this frame of mind prevent her from smiling at some customers? Could the relationship she has with the business affect how good her service levels are? Does the company lose custom as a result?
Engagement is inextricably linked to levels of customer service. Do your staff understand how their moods and personality impact the impression customers have of your brand? What lengths would they go to in ensuring you never miss a sale? What can you do to improve it?