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Kindness to Employees = Kindness to Customers

Not a half hour after posting last week’s blog on kindness, I found myself struggling not to scream at a customer “service” representative on the phone. I had a problem that wasn’t on her script. She apparently didn’t have the authority or the ability to listen to my problem. Thus, she couldn’t help me. We both got frustrated, and it left a bad taste in my mouth about the product. It made me realize how powerful good customer service is in retaining customers. In the small business environment, your employees actively represent your business culture – whether you have a thoughtful and empowering culture or your employees are slogging through the hours for the paycheck. Do you make it easy for your employees to help fix a customer problem? There are companies that do the bare minimum in customer service because, once a service is sold, there is no more money to be made in interacting with their customers. Do you micromanage your employees or do you give them the room to do their jobs with personality and panache? It is very powerful to hear someone say, "I understand your problem. Let me see what I can do to help you." Is the working environment tense? Are your employees afraid of you? Would they go the extra mile for one of your customers? Do you give rewards, such as a compliment for a job well done, or pizza on a cold rainy day or an ice-cream party for meeting the sales goals? If your employees are respected, they will be more loyal to your company, and more pleasant and helpful to your customers. It comes down to kindness. Try it.

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