Your employees are the face of your brand.
Maybe you started your business with a dream: to serve the best espresso in town, or the best burger. To revolutionize spa services, or become THE place to get awesome organic products. To find your tribe of loyal customers and cater to them, exclusively.
You made your passion into a business – one that depends on employees to help customers buy what you’re selling. To succeed, you need to cultivate relationships with customers and earn their loyalty.
Which means those customer-facing faces must be friendly and approachable. They need to reflect your brand in a positive way. They should treat each customer the way you would: with kindness and respect.
Customer loyalty is highly influenced by employee morale. Of course it helps to hire the right people in the first place. But to keep those people motivated and productive (or to use the technical buzzword, “engaged”), you need to create a workplace environment where they feel secure and happy in their jobs.
With that in mind, here are three tips for bringing out the best in your employees so they can create the best experience for customers:
- Listen to them. Your employees want to be heard in the workplace. They want to feel like their ideas can make a difference. So make clear, open communication with staff a priority. Encourage employees to ask questions and share opinions. Keep them informed of company news and ask for their feedback. Treat their comments with respect. To improve both staff and customer retention, you need truly honest feedback – otherwise you can’t fix what isn’t working. Gather that feedback with a short, anonymous survey (try a free service like SurveyMonkey.com) that asks staff about what it’s like to work for your company.
- Let them flourish. Your employees are your most important business asset. Give them opportunities to shine in the workplace by bringing out their strengths. If someone is good at sales, coach them to aim for challenging monthly sales targets to see how great they can be. If others live and breathe pop culture and gadgets, get them involved in your social media campaigns. People who love to shop make great product buyers. When you empower your employees to contribute based on their strengths, it encourages them to stretch even further to help your business grow.
- Reward their successes. People want to be recognized for their hard work. Don’t overlook your employees’ accomplishments – celebrate them to encourage more success. Whether you call people out in staff meetings for great work, or privately thank them for their efforts, make sure staff know how much their dedication means to you. Reward your employees with gift cards or other small tokens when they hit growth targets or milestones like the most Vicinity loyalty program signups, the most sales per month or week, the most referrals, and more.