Rules, policies, and procedures are often in place to ensure the customer experience is delivered consistent with the brand promise. Have you considered that having employees that care is really what changes the customer experience?
Organizations can set policy and have rules, but often the values and beliefs of the employee will be the biggest factor for outcomes. Demonstrating caring starts with the employees believing that the organization they work for values both the employees and customers.
Bounds of Rules and Policies
Employees will make decisions both within the bounds of rules and policies and outside of those parameters too. What they decide will really depend on what they value. Culture, driven by leadership often shapes value perceptions.
A gallon of milk has a drip, but put it on the shelf anyway. I hope that someone grabs it soon.
There is an empty coach seat on the unfilled airplane but the three biggest people on the plane are required to sit in the same row.
The roofer drops some nails in your yard, but oh well, perhaps no one will notice.
At the automobile repair shop, the mechanic steps in grease, gets it on your floor mats, but ignores what he sees because it isn’t his problem.
Food for table four sits and grows cold since the waiter is more preoccupied with his friends seated at table eight.
Chances are great that all of these circumstances, as well as thousands of others are against the rules. They break the fundamental policies, procedures, and what the organization leadership claims as the brand promise.
Caring Starts Inside
Caring starts on the inside. It starts with the organization philosophy that is carried out every day. Not the rule in written in the manual, the one that the employee feels based on the cultural environment.
The dairy department manager is measured in part by loss due to spoilage or out of date merchandise.
Airline personnel aren’t sure that comfort is one of their problems. Security is what really matters. Stay in your ticketed seat. Passengers should be more weight conscious.
The boss wants the roofer on the next job, they already lost a day because of rain. Picking up a few nails is a waste of time.
Grease, what grease? I work in grease every day and I can’t afford that car. Deal with it, it didn’t come from my boot.
Why do people eat burgers and fries anyway? They should be vegans. Who cares if their food sits. Reminiscing about high school is much more fun.
Employees That Care
Chances are great that rules, policies, and procedures won’t matter that much. It is the integrity and ethics of the employees that will make the difference. They’ll decide. They likely make those decisions hundreds of times per day.
However, they aren’t the only ones to blame. Guiding their choices are the behaviors of the leadership agenda.
Time is money and waste is problematic are two leadership punishments that employees divert to the customer. They’ve learned it from the inside and they’re sharing it on the outside.
Do you want to change the customer experience? Employees that care are important. Leadership measurement should consider metrics of caring. Caring is never cheap, but not caring is the most expensive of all.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.