A safe way to engage your employees and to promote transparency amongst your teams is to share customer feedback with them. This is of particular importance for the oft under-appreciated frontline employees who interact with your customers on a day-to-day basis. Making your employees aware of what customers are saying about them and their team members, whether positive or negative, can really motivate your employees’ performance as there is much to be learned. Realistically, there are right and wrong ways of doing this. Taking the wrong approach could be counterproductive, leaving your staff confused, disappointed or distracted. The suggestions below should help constructively share feedback, adding value to your employee engagement strategy.
It is important for you to regularly review customer feedback with your employees so that they can continuously improve. If you only share it with them quarterly or annually, any of the key learnings that would be taken away from the feedback review will likely be forgotten and the issue is likely to occur again before it is discussed. Negative, positive and neutral feedback should be discussed so employees can either pick up tips from good experiences or think about how negative customer interactions could have been improved. This is a great opportunity for constructive discussion and to get everyone thinking about creating better customer experiences.
There are a variety of ways to share feedback with your employees. One option is to have weekly meetings in which feedback is reviewed as a team or department. This will bring everyone together and motivate them as a group towards a common goal of delivering great CX. Another option is to give them direct access to their own performance data as part of your voice of the customer solution. This is a particularly useful move for contact centre employees so they can track their performance in comparison to team members and other departments. This wouldn’t be the most useful method though for retail employees, for example, for whom interactions and performance are not as directly quantifiable through metrics.
When you share feedback often with your employees it gives them a constant stream of motivation to continuously improve their service. Reviewing customer feedback should be made a habit of usual practice that your employees come to expect and appreciate.
Everyone feels great when they do a great job and are recognised for it. We have a tendency to focus on the negative feedback that we receive from customers because it shows that we have work to do and we need to change something to get better. But much can be learned from positive feedback too. Sharing positive feedback with your entire team will motivate the group as a whole try their best rather than focusing on negative feedback alone which might bring their morale down.
Give credit where credit is due and reward the employees who deserve it. Set up a wall or board in the common area of your office to showcase positive comments from customers. Alternatively, you can start or end staff meetings with a few shout outs to the top performers of that week who received really good feedback. Better yet, give out small prizes that won’t break your budget (a gift card, an afternoon off, free movie tickets, etc.) for really stellar performances to reward those employees who went above and beyond to serve a customer.
Discourage playing the “blame game”
When discussing negative feedback, don’t allow your employees to point fingers and deflect from responsibility. If a customer leaves some really poor feedback for an employee, don’t accept answers like “well he was in a bad mood so it isn’t my fault” or “we were out of stock so there was nothing I could do.” This type of conversation is entirely unproductive.
Use negative feedback as something to learn from. If a customer was rude or difficult, discuss how the situation could have been handled differently to help them find a resolution. Dismissing negative customer feedback as a reflection of a bad customer doesn’t achieve anything. Even bad customers deserve good customer service no matter how difficult it might make your front line staff’s jobs. Empower your employees to make decisions so to resolve problems and prevent negative customer experiences.
You also shouldn’t be blaming your employees when a customer does have a bad experience. Create a culture of “when one fails, we all fail” so that everyone feels motivated to work together as a team and collectively take ownership of failures as well as wins.
Give them autonomy
In some circumstances, the best way to share feedback with your employees is to give them direct access to it. In this way, they can track their own performance and benchmark it against the team, region, or overall company performance average. If you have a robust voice of the customer solution, this shouldn’t be a problem. This is a good tool to help employees to self-motivate rather than rely on feedback from their managers.
This can be a great solution if your employees are not feeling empowered as it gives them direct access to monitor feedback in realtime, so they can improve their performance accordingly. Sometimes employees may feel that managers or senior staff members are lecturing or pestering them which can be detrimental to morale. Allowing them to privately evaluate their own performance will enable them to see when and where they went wrong if that is the case. As noted before, this is of particular use to contact centre employees rather than retail employees by which performance is most often tracked by specific metrics (first call resolution, average handle time, quality assurance, etc.).