Building a Lasting Culture of Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation Day is recognized on the first Friday in March. While an annual employee appreciation day is nice, building a lasting culture that values employees has a much greater impact. Businesses with a culture that values and engages employees enjoy higher productivity, lower absenteeism, lower turnover and higher profitability. Businesses that successfully build that culture also see positive results with customers. Numerous studies have found a direct link between engaged, happy employees and loyal, happy customers. Studies focused on employee engagement found that engaged employees are willing to go above and beyond for their companies and customers. There are many pieces that must work together to create a productive organizational culture. Here are three practices that build a culture that values and appreciates employees. Ask Employees For Feedback  Employees who interact with customers have a wealth of information about your customers. They are in the best position to understand customers’ likes and dislikes. They also understand how internal processes can be improved to better serve customers. Make employees a valued part of the business by asking them to watch for ways to improve how you interact with and serve customers. Establish methods for employees to regularly and easily share what they know. Value Employee Feedback Asking employees for feedback is not enough. Use the information they share to make changes that improve the experience for customers and for employees! Employees feel valued and appreciated when they see that their feedback is used to improve the organization.   Empower Employees Employees who feel valued, are motivated to go above and beyond to meet customer needs. Let them! Provide training to help employees understand customers as well...

Some Businesses Love Their Customers

It’s great to be loved by a business! You know the feeling. The warm, happy feeling you have when you walk out of a business and can’t wait to tell everyone about your special experience. Customer-friendly businesses know how to create that special feeling that make us loyal customers—for life! Customer-focused businesses make us feel special throughout our entire experience with them. They pay attention to details and provide the little extras that sweeten our experience. They make it easy for us to interact with them. And, of course, we love their products/services. Here a few companies that love their customers. Amazon Founded in 1994, Amazon has continued to evolve to become the largest online retailer in the world by total sales. Amazon is obsessed with customers! They offer customers almost anything they want, delivered quickly, often within 24 hours. Payment options are easy and the return process is painless. With a wide-range of products and services, they are an easy go-to for almost everything we need. Disney Who could not love Disney?! It’s the “Happiest Place on Earth,” creating “magical moments” at every possible opportunity. Disney creates an outstanding experience for guests starting long before we arrive and continuing throughout our visit. Disney pays close attention to every detail even creating an entire underground system for employees. Disney delights guests, creating loyal customers who return often. Nordstrom Nordstrom provides customers with many extras that delight customers and elevates the shopping experience above all others. Well trained sales people provide personal attention to shoppers throughout their shopping experience. Quality products with customer friendly policies make it easy to shop with...

It Pays to Go the Second Mile

I am always impressed with the service I receive when I go to Chick-fil-A. Employees, who are making at or slightly above minimum wage, consistently create a great experience. In fact, I feel like I get as great of an experience at Chick-fil-a as I do at many high-end restaurants. Chick-fil-A is proof that businesses at lower price points can provide a great experience that leads to high customer satisfaction and loyalty. Chick-fil-A employees do a lot of little things that create that great experience. They do things like carry trays, refill drinks, and bring napkins and condiments to the table. The drive through is typically managed by several employees who do things to move customers through the line very quickly. A second special touch is “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome” or the all-to-common “no problem”. This slight change in language adds a touch of class to interactions and makes customers feel special. The company refers to these little extras as the “second mile service.” The first mile service covers the basic things customers expect. The second mile service includes the extras that lead to exceeding customer expectations. The second mile service culture has paid off for Chick-fil-A. The company has high customer service ratings and customer loyalty with about 15% of their customers considered raving fans who will go above and beyond for the company. The company enjoys double digit sales growth with just over 2,000 locations (McDonalds has over 36,000 locations) and tops all fast food restaurants in sales per restaurant. I believe that the second mile service approach has a positive impact on employees as...

Are Your Surveys Like the Election Polls?

The 2016 presidential election was significant for many reasons. Many feel it may be the most important election of our lifetime. The incredible inaccuracy of the polls stands out as one noteworthy aspect of the election. The political news reporters were shocked and embarrassed by how they blew the prediction of the election outcome. This is a clear demonstration of how decisions can be based on erroneous information. Some of the inherent flaws in polls are similar to problems with surveys. Poll predictions use several factors that are supposed to be representative of the population. Like polls, surveys are the responses from a subset of people who theoretically represent the whole and the results are based on those who are willing to respond. The accuracy declines and results are skewed for several reasons: We are inundated with surveys and, many of us don’t respond, leading to a smaller sample of the whole. I spoke with a business leader recently who was frustrated that only three people out of 750 responded to his company’s survey. His compensation was affected by the satisfaction ratings, but the results were worthless. Customers have been tainted by long surveys with endless pages of questions. No upfront indication of the length or the time it will take to complete result in high abandonment rates. Requests for extensive demographic information may benefit the business but send a message to the customer that the survey is not focused on improving the customer experience. Businesses need on-going customer feedback to continuously improve. So, how do they get it? Business can start by focusing on their customers’ needs, not...

Peoplocity Participates in ACTE Forum in San Francisco

George Klein, CEO/Founder of Peoplocity, will participate in a panel discussion at the ACTE Education Forum in San Francisco on November 2. The interactive discussion will focus on the evolving role of the travel manager with specific emphasis on the economic challenges, new technologies, hotel forecasts and controlling spend on ground transportation. George will share his expertise on using technology to improve the traveler experience. Other panel members include Matt Doherty, RVP West, Lyft, Jeff Hillenmayer, Head-Corp Sourcing Americas at HRS and Dorian Stonie, Sr Manager, Global Travel at Salesforce. The panel will be moderated by Ralph Colunga, Sr. Director, Global Travel and Marketing Support Services at Concur. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 25-year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association, comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward.        ...