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

 
 
 

39 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

3 weeks 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 co ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 weeks 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 doub ...
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

More Hubble observation time goes to men: Study
Washington, Sep 20 (IANS) In a disturbing trend, an internal Hubble Space Telescope (HST) study has found that in each of the past 11 observation proposal cycles, applications led by male principal investigators had a higher success rate than those led by women.
 
 
Eight members of Ebola fact-finding mission killed in Guinea
Dakar, Sep 20 (IANS/EFE) Eight members of a government team were killed with machetes and knives by residents of a village in a remote area of Guinea where they had gone to gather data about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease, African media outlets said.
 
 
Physicists verify Einstein's time-dilation theory
London, Sep 20 (IANS) Do you believe that a person travelling in a high-speed rocket would age more slowly than people back on Earth?
 
 
Microbial cell technology to better clean-up rural waste
Washington, Sep 20 (IANS) In a bid to help under-developed countries clean polluted water more effectively, researchers at the Washington State University (WSU) have developed a unique method to use microbes buried in pond sediment to power waste cleanup in rural areas.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

More Hubble observation time goes to men: Study
Washington, Sep 20 (IANS) In a disturbing trend, an internal Hubble Space Telescope (HST) study has found that in each of the past 11 observation proposal cycles, applications led by male principal investigators had a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Voting for New Zealand general elections ends
Wellington, Sep 20 (IANS) Voting for New Zealand's general elections ended Saturday and counting of the ballots has begun. Polling stations across the country opened at 9 a.m., Xinhua reported. According to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Eight members of Ebola fact-finding mission killed in Guinea
Dakar, Sep 20 (IANS/EFE) Eight members of a government team were killed with machetes and knives by residents of a village in a remote area of Guinea where they had gone to gather data about the spread of the deadly...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China closes 1.8 mn networking accounts in porn crackdown
Beijing, Sep 20 (IANS) China has closed nearly 1.8 million social networking and instant messaging accounts since April, when it launched a campaign to purge the internet of obscene content, Xinhua reported Saturday....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Physicists verify Einstein's time-dilation theory
London, Sep 20 (IANS) Do you believe that a person travelling in a high-speed rocket would age more slowly than people back on Earth? Giving a thrust to the "time-dilation" effect, physicists have verified a key...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Kurdish militias kill 18 IS rebels in Syria
Damacus, Sep 20 (IANS) At least 18 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in clashes with Kurdish militias in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday. The killing of the IS fighters is...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Microbial cell technology to better clean-up rural waste
Washington, Sep 20 (IANS) In a bid to help under-developed countries clean polluted water more effectively, researchers at the Washington State University (WSU) have developed a unique method to use microbes buried in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Judi Dench to skip Oscars
Dame Judi Dench won't be attending the Oscars next year. The 79-year-old actress - who was nominated for Best Actress this year but missed the ceremony because of filming commitments - insists she ''loves'' the Academy...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
True love stays forever
London, Sep 20 (IANS) Only true love stays forever is a saying that has been proved to be true as British archeologists have unearthed skeletons of a couple holding hands while searching for a lost chapel in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Aishwarya, Freida in L'Oréal Paris' star-studded ad
Los Angeles, Sep 20 (IANS) Indian beauties Aishwarya Rai and Freida Pinto feature alongside Hollywood celebrities like Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Jane Fonda and Julianne Moore in a star-studded ad...
Read more on Celebrity Balla