Our industry requires a distinct skill set from people that can play many roles. Some of those roles include:
- CSR (Customer Service Representative);
- Technician Trainee;
- Repair Technician;
- Technician Manager/Quality Manager;
- Lead Technician/Assistant Manager;
- Manager/Store Leader;
- Operations Manager;
In some cases each role is separate, but in most, one person can wear many “hats.” Each position plays a key role in our customer’s experience, which goes for both types of customers:
- Internal Customers:
An internal customer is any member of your organization who relies on assistance from another member to fulfill his/her daily assigned duties on a regular basis.
- External Customers:
An external customer is someone who uses your company’s products or services but is not part of your organization.
Every business looks at their customer base differently, but in many cases, we forget our most important customer(s), who are our co-workers! Simply put, if the team doesn’t respect each other, or feel empowered to be great, the external customer, and the business, will suffer.
Some large companies “encourage” their workforce to take annual surveys to check the pulse of their internal customer; while small businesses simply gauge internal customer success and enthusiasm by if “they” show-up for work with a manageable attitude.
Annual surveys are a noble effort but, in many cases are easily swayed by an alpha leader and whatever flavor of the month agenda that person is trying to push or execute. The survey becomes more about doing the survey, and how it reflects on the “leader” than the actual outcome. Conversely, a lack of any purposeful feedback regarding how a team interacts leads to people that simply get thru the day and often ignore things that can hurt the business.
It takes great leadership and culture to create great customer experiences, and a great culture starts with respect. Every individual, from the top down, has to respect the work every other individual does, and respect that those people are as engaged in the outcome as they are. Great leadership is the glue that makes this possible, it starts with using words like “we” and “us” versus “they” when thinking about the team.
One fun way to check on the engagement, culture and stability of your team is to ask them, what is your theme song?
That might sound silly, but think about it, every great movie, weekend, day, event, decade or business has a soundtrack.
Do you know your shop soundtrack?
Would it be filled with uplifting tracks with the promise of pride and excitement? Or, would it sound like Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe’s “Look Down” from Les Misérables?
99.8% of us has a personal theme song that pushes us out of bed and off to work. Although our personal theme song will change on a regular basis, it’s a great way to get to know one another and see a picture of how each of us feels about their responsibilities and surroundings within the organization.
After each theme song is collected put them together and you’ll have the soundtrack to your business. Take the time to listen to it on the way to work and on the way home. Is the message what you expected from your team?
Keep in mind, this exercise is not for the faint of heart.
Now more than ever it’s important to know your team and help each individual feel important and welcome within each organization. Every individual is critical to the success or failure, finding your soundtrack is just one small piece to empowering and understanding your team. If you want to create great external customer experiences, start by striving to create a great internal experience.