The Employee Handbook has been written and the training complete, outlining the service standards and the experience that you expect your staff to provide to your customer, so what’s the next step?
Why should you measure the performance of your team from a customer’s perspective? The public and workforce are extremely diverse, comprising multiple generations, cultures, languages and expectations. The service benchmark today requires more than just a ‘smile, please and thank you’, instead the customer expects the service to be awesome with the experience providing a long lasting ‘wow’ memory that will have them returning and telling others, turning your customer into an advocate for your business.
Consistent service that is delivered by you and all of your staff every day, even when you’re short-staffed, or you’re dealing with a customer has not been very nice in the past, is what sets your business apart from your competitors.
Measuring your performance identifies where you are succeeding and where there are opportunities to improve. It is the first step to raising your operating standards.
Given the increasing competition for the customer dollar, it is critical to implement measuring into your business. And believe me, your competitors certainly will be doing it if they want to succeed.
Here are some tried and tested research tools that are continually changing and morphing into ways that engage your existing customers, as well as prospective customers.
- Focus Groups
- Online Forums
- Surveys (Questionnaires)
- Mystery Shopping
- Competitor Audits
So often I hear of business owners having one of their friends pop in and then give informal feedback. There is nothing wrong with this form of analysis, however in the majority of cases it is not measured, and no guidelines were given before the friend walked in. Perhaps even their view was skewed because of what you have told them about the staff before they had formed their own opinion?
Using a professional research company is well worth the investment, whereby you receive data that is tailored for your specific business, and the analysis is easy to understand with suggestions on how to improve. Over the past two decades my company’s Optimum Operating Procedures and Services (OOPS) have developed our Mystery Shopping reports to deliver what our customers want and more importantly what they need.
A customer experiences your whole business therefore not only do you accurately measure the performance of your staff you have to be prepared to look at every working part, from the restrooms (if you have them), décor and the placement and design of your furniture and fittings. Without that information, you are not really measuring what matters.
Why Measure and Analyse
Asking questions provides a clearer understanding of:
- Customer Experience
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Knowledge
- Image — Personal and Premises
- Marketing and Promotions
- Staff training required
- Facilities to be added or enhanced
- Identifies cultural changes in the workplace and customers
Too often we assume that staff will have the same drive, knowledge and enthusiasm that we do as owners and managers. Measuring and then analysing the results will provide you real time feedback on those staff who are going beyond the expectations of your customers along with the opportunities to improve service and even identify where resources or further training are required.
Sharing the Analysis
Analysis must not become a ‘draw liner’ in your desk! Instead share the information with your whole team and let them have the opportunity to make suggestions, ideas and clearly understand the perception that customers have of them, the team and the business. This can be confronting and emotional, but it’s not about the blame game: instead it’s about learning and growing from the data.
Sharing the analysis will also allow the opportunity to celebrate what is working really well and show that so often, it’s the little things that the staff do that can impact positively on the customer experience.