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Exceptional Holiday Customer Experiences Start on the Front Lines

There are about 2 weeks left of intense holiday shopping (including the Black Friday madness that ensues). Your front-line workers are likely feeling a little burnt out from the holiday shoppers and it’s your job as their fearless leader to find ways to motivate and engage them through the coming weeks and beyond!

Although I hope your service experience isn’t chaos, it’s in these busy times where it’s critical to lead by example and show your employees what servant leadership is all about by leading from the front lines. Read more in: A Guide to Being a Servant Leader.

Leading from the front lines means that your leaders takes their cues in a bottom-up direction from your front-line talent rather than through the typical hierarchical structure from the top down.  Your front-line talent has the most direct experience with your customers so they know what they want, how they want it and what is standing in the way of them delivering it. You can find out more about Leading From the Front Line here.

So here are 3 simple things you can do in the next 2 weeks to motivate your seasonal and full-time employees and allow them to continuously improve and exceed your customers’ expectations during the busiest time of year.

Listen and Communicate

As your direct line of connection to your customers, it is so important for you to provide ample opportunities for your front-line employees to communicate openly and transparently with leadership about what your customers want.  As their leaders, you must listen to what they have to say and make a plan of action about how you will put their concerns into action.  You should also communicate with your front-line staff about expectations with customers, and try to give them autonomy to make good decisions within the scope of your company culture and values.

Remove Obstacles

When you listen and communicate with your talent (as mentioned above) you will discover the things that stand in their way of being able to provide great service to their customers.  Many companies have too many bureaucratic processes and procedures that get in the way of their employees delivering exceptional service to their customers.  Because of this, employees often they do not feel enabled to go the extra mile to help a customer; however, this can often mean the difference between losing a customer and creating decades of loyalty.  Examine your policies and procedures and assure that they are absolutely necessary to function. Remove those that do not serve your higher company mission.  Some of the most successful customer service companies place very little rules on their employees (e.g. Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Netflix, Apple, etc.) with very high success and exceptional performance.

Recognize and Reward

Especially around this time of the year, taking the extra time to recognize and reward your front-line employees for their hard work, will return in their service tenfold.  Also, when you recognize those employees who have great performance, it will set expectations for other front-line talent to do the same. During the holidays, and in December specifically, many people have split focus – thinking about everything they must get done, tired and distracted from holiday parties – that is why it is critical to motivate them with incentives, rewards and recognition to continuously keep their eye on the prize – making your customers happy!

Want to Learn More About Recognition? Chat with Us!

To motivate employees to continuous levels of high performance now and year round you should implement an employee recognition program.  The most successful recognition programs are customized and personalized so that your employees get the rewards and recognition they want, at every touch point.  Get in touch with me at jenn@globalengagementsolutions.com to chat about how GES can help you with your 2018 recognition goals and initiatives.

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Peter Psichogios is the President of Global Engagement Solutions whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining GES Peter Psichogios served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard, leading the large-scale e-Learning and employee engagement initiatives. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500 and many of the world's fastest growing companies, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.