Improve customer service levels with an effective reward and recognition scheme

Have you just received the results of your latest customer satisfaction survey and are wondering why you can’t get those stats up to the standard needed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Organisations in all industries are recognising the importance of high quality frontline customer service, and in the current climate this could make or break the future of your company. A recent survey found that 43 percent of customers who stopped doing business with a company made their decision based on poor customer service.

Address the route cause of the problem… engage your employees!

Those employees that feel valued and can see that they directly contribute to the success of the company will out perform others. They are also more likely to stay loyal to your company and remain in place long enough to reach their full potential.

For every one percent increase in staff loyalty a half percent increase can be seen in customer loyalty. – study by Harvard Business School

Reward and recognition programs are designed to address the issue of retaining the most engaged individuals in your company, as well as motivate those ‘less enthusiastic’ staff!

A recent poll found that 55 percent of employees agree or agree strongly that the quality of their company’s recognition efforts impacted on their job performance.

With trends like these being identified you may well be considering a review of your current methods of recognition, but before doing so always consider the following:

  • Have you involved your employees at any time during the design of your scheme?
    At a minimum, management should ask employees, via surveys, focus groups, group meetings or team involvement, what they value most, in terms of recognition and rewards. If you don’t, how can you be certain that what you are offering will be attractive to your staff in the first place?
  • Are your rewards relevant to your audience?
    Employees are motivated in vastly different ways. In order for a programme to be truly effective, managers and supervisors have to be able to distinguish what motivates a particular employee and reward accordingly.
  • Do your management team have the opportunity to recognise and reward good performance ‘on the spot’?
    Instant recognition from a line manager for a job well done can be just as effective as a more structured approach. Without the ability for supervisors to show praise employees will feel neglected.
  • What communication channels will you be utilising during your campaign?
    Poor communication will devalue your rewards because employees simply won’t go that extra mile for a scheme that they’ve heard little about. You need to make the recognition process as easy as possible for peers in order to ensure a high take up and lots of nominations flowing in.
  • How are you going to maintain the momentum of your campaign?
    Unfortunately many companies invest heavily in a recognition scheme only to see their money thrown down the drain. The main reason being that following an all singing, all dancing launch little or no promotional activity continues through the rest of the year. Without constant promotion even the best scheme can (and probably will) fail.
  • What management data can you obtain from your recognition scheme?
    Administration should play a critical role in everything you do. Without the ability to track improvements in employee attitudes and behaviour how will you be able to improve your programme as time moves on? Being able to identify those rewards with the best employee response can be a powerful tool when it comes to implementing future incentives, let alone justifying your reward and recognition budgets!

There is more to a reward and recognition programme than you might think, but one thing is abundantly clear, if you fail to engage your employees effectively, then your customer satisfaction levels will follow suit.

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