360° Coverage : Poor Customer Service Explained By Lack Of Employee Engagement

2 Updates

Poor Customer Service Explained By Lack Of Employee Engagement

Dec 19 2013, 8:24pm CST | by

Anybody who has been involved in drives to make employees more engaged might want to pause for thought. According to extensive analysis by the management consultancy Bain & Co, this activity has...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

36 weeks ago

Poor Customer Service Explained By Lack Of Employee Engagement

Dec 19 2013, 8:24pm CST | by

Anybody who has been involved in drives to make employees more engaged might want to pause for thought. According to extensive analysis by the management consultancy Bain & Co, this activity has generally been a waste of time where it matters most – among employees dealing with members of the public.

The findings may well prompt a nod of recognition for any reader who has ever had a frustrating experience with a sales assistant in a store or during a telephone conversation with a customer service representative. But they should make the leader of any organization want to carry out a fundamental reappraisal of employee engagement efforts.

Essentially, the Bain analysis of data from more than 200,000 employees from around the world, shows that employment engagement levels drop as soon as they leave the “c-suite” of senior executives. They continue to fall between upper levels of management and lower levels of organizations, so that by the time front-line positions are reached they are exponentially lower. Rob Markey, global head of Bain’s customer marketing and strategy practice and author of the analysis, acknowledges that there has been data about the limitations of employee engagement programmes, but says he did not expect there to be such a gap between senior management and customer-facing employees.

The situation is serious because it is widely acknowledged that the enthusiasm of front-line staff is increasingly important to a company’s success. He says there is such a strong link between engagement and customer loyalty that he would have expected more companies to have “cracked the code” by now.

The good news is that because employee engagement levels are generally so low at the front line any company that tackles the issue seriously stands to enjoy a substantial competitive advantage. “It doesn’t really take that much to make a huge difference,” says Markey.

More worryingly for leaders and their organizations, it appears that traditional approaches will not produce the desired effect. “Most leaders think they have to react with more studies, more analysis, more initiatives,” adds Markey. But this desire to create mechanisms is misguided in its paternalism. The companies that he regards as leading the way in this area – such as the web-hosting business Rackspace and the software and business support provider Intuit – recognise that these things work better from the bottom up. “They have discovered that employees want to make a difference, want to feel autonomous, want to exercise their own judgement and want to feel ownership,” he explains.

In such a situation, the role of the leadership of the organization is not to give directions but to create the framework within which employees can operate. This way, those on the front line can identify and resolve issues for themselves, on the basis that serving the customer properly is good for the organization.

The more usual situation has the sales assistant or customer service representative operating within tight rules that prevent them from solving any problems. This feeling of powerlessness overrides any incentives the employer might have in place to encourage engagement and leads to stress and a general sense of frustration. “Work becomes drudgery when employees are separated from a higher purpose and are unable to see that they are making people’s lives better,” says Markey.

On the other hand, if employees – especially those in front-line roles dealing with either outside customers or other departments within the organization – are engaged and enthusiastic they enjoy work more. And that is good for the business. Having been drawn into what has been a study spanning several years through his work on customer loyalty, Markey is sure of the link between happy employees and happy customers. He says that the companies that tend to appear on lists of best places to work also score well on Bain’s Net Promoter rankings for customer loyalty. “It’s abundantly clear that if you want to earn the enthusiastic advocacy of customers employees have to be enthusiastic advocates,” he adds.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

2 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the wor ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Now, 'electronic nose' to detect diarrhoea
London, Sep 1 (IANS) In what could lead to faster diagnosis of diarrhoea and stomach cramps, researchers have developed an "electronic nose" that can sniff the highly infectious bacteria that causes these diseases.
 
 
Japan has committed $35-bn investment in India: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday signalled a new era of ties with Japan and welcomed the commitment made by his host and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to invest $35 billion in India over the next five years.
 
 
New blood test to reliably detect TB
London, Sep 1 (IANS) A new blood test has been developed to provide a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children.
 
 
Japan announces 3.5 trillion yen investment to India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Japan Monday announced public-private investment of 3.5 trillion yen (Rs.2.03 trillion) in India.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

IS committing crimes against humanity in Iraq: UN
Geneva, Sep 1 (IANS/EFE) Violence carried out by militants of the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation in Iraq, including murders, executions, abduction, sexual violence and torture, amount to crimes against...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Iran vows to free Al-Aqsa mosque from Israel
Tehran, Sep 1 (IANS) Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Monday vowed to liberate the Al-Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem from the Israeli forces and spare no efforts to help the Palestinian people, state-owned...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
200,000 Indians granted Saudi visas in one month
Riyadh, Sep 1 (IANS) More than 200,000 Indians, mostly domestic helpers and labourers, were granted visas by Saudi authorities in one month, an official said Monday. "Since we resumed bringing in Indian workers at the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Number of SAARC regional centres to be slashed
Kathmandu, Sep 1 (IANS) SAARC member states have agreed to bring down the number of the association's regional centres from 11 to five in order to end the duplication of work and to reduce expenditure. A meeting of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Now, 'electronic nose' to detect diarrhoea
London, Sep 1 (IANS) In what could lead to faster diagnosis of diarrhoea and stomach cramps, researchers have developed an "electronic nose" that can sniff the highly infectious bacteria that causes these diseases....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Japan has committed $35-bn investment in India: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday signalled a new era of ties with Japan and welcomed the commitment made by his host and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to invest $35 billion in India over the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Indian in UAE unable to pay bills, hospital says go home
Abu Dhabi, Sep 1 (IANS) An uninsured Indian man has run up more than $160,000 in medical bills after he suffered a brain haemorrhage and spent about six months in an Abu Dhabi hospital, a media report said. The...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Abe wants 'special strategic' ties with India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Monday said ties with India should be elevated to a "special strategic partnership". "We have to fundamentally improve our ties in every field to elevate our...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
New blood test to reliably detect TB
London, Sep 1 (IANS) A new blood test has been developed to provide a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children. About one million children develop tuberculosis (TB) globally each year but detecting...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Talks on for civil nuclear deal with Japan: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said negotiations were on for a civil nuclear agreement with Japan, indicating that the deal is not likely to be sealed during his ongoing five-day visit to the...
Read more on Politics Balla