Awakening workplace intelligence is the process of cultivating an awareness of how our actions impact our customers’ experiences and how this impacts the bottom line.
All too often, we float through our days on autopilot. We arrive on the scene at work, grab our morning beverage, begin to tackle the to-do list, then wait expectantly for quitting time.
The auto pilot mentality can also carry over to how we relate to our customers. Without a sense of customer awareness, we run the risk of lumping all of our customers together, failing to see their individual needs and the unique opportunities to serve them according to these needs.
Anticipating customer needs, watching for positive customer cues, and keeping in mind that we are only as good as our last encounter with the customer, are critical for high customer retention percentages.
All too often, employees are “asleep” as they slog through their workday. Managers sometimes call this a lack of motivation but I call it a failure on the part of the manager to impress upon the employee the importance of always being on our toes, watching for the ways we can delight and retain our customers.
[tweetthis]An intelligent workplace requires all of us to pay attention to the customer and their experience.[/tweetthis]
An intelligent workplace encourages us to looks for the signs that we are doing a good job for our customers. This kind of workplace encourages us to continue to strive for even greater levels of service.
To cultivate an environment of awakened workplace intelligence consider the following best practices:
- Create the space necessary for the interaction to occur. Use good listening skills to hear what’s really on the customer’s mind. You may even want to consider taking the customer to a quiet office space to give an intelligent conversation a chance to take place.
- Be mindful of how you feel. Feelings of anger, annoyance, or impatience create tension in our bodies that become obvious to the customer. They easily key in on tight jaws, clenched teeth, or furrowed brows. Send the appropriate body language signals and the only way to do this is through awareness.
- Find the common ground. As humans we’re more alike that different when it comes to wanting value for our dollar and also wanting to be respected. Find ways to make the common connection with each customer before you engage in the interaction, especially those where the customer is expressing dissatisfaction.
- Stay open-minded when connecting with your customers. They always have something to tell you.
One of the best ways to ensure that your organization is truly one of awakened intelligence, is to mystery shop on a regular basis. Shoppers are always happy to share how we can do better, as organizations, to serve their needs. And if the awakened and intelligent workplace is one where the entire staff is on their toes, your mystery shops will reflect high satisfaction levels that will only lead to higher percentages of retention.
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