Are You Setting Your Employees up for Success?
As a leader you have a voice at the table where decisions are made, and policies are written. How often do you make decisions and see it through the lens of your employees? Your front-line employees have the important job of interacting with your customers. They are the representation of your company and your brand.
Shows like Undercover Boss have been eye-opening for CEO’s to see how their company really runs. However, you do not need a TV show to learn how your decisions impact employees. You can avoid a lot of complaints and frustration by considering employee point of view at the beginning of the process. Checking in with employees and taking the time to listen is a valuable tool in your workplace culture and setting employees up for success.
Like most of the world, I had several travel plans change in 2020 due to COVID-19. I had such a contrast in experiences in dealing with travel providers. How companies and their employees handled these situations is shaping my consumer behavior as my travel schedule is picking up in 2021.
When I am the recipient of poor service, my goal is to remain calm. I am keenly aware that the individual I am talking to did not create the policies that they are adhering to. In the last year I have also tried to be mindful of how many unpleasant calls that individual had to take before connecting with me.
Expedia is a company that in my eyes, did not get it right and did not set their employees up for success. When my conference in Orlando was cancelled, they made the decision to issue a credit with strict criteria for utilizing it. I had to use the same airline, the credit was only good for my travel, and the worst part was I had one chance to use it and if my new ticket was less money, I forfeited the amount I had spent with them. This is not a recipe for customer happiness, and I can only imagine how many angry phone calls Expedia employees have had to deal with. To add to the frustration my time on the phone with Expedia was 2 hours, 25 minutes, and 47 seconds.
Contrast my experience with Delta Airlines. It may have taken a pandemic to get airlines to re-examine change fees. Delta got it right, and I truly hope they make this change permanent. I recently traveled across the country to New York City. I wanted to catch an earlier flight home, and Delta hit the customer service jackpot. The change/cancel button on their website was easy to use, and much to my surprise my fare for the earlier flight was lower. They issued an e-credit for me to use on a future flight. Exceeding my expectations, Delta will be top of mind for future travel.
Delta and Expedia made decisions that have an impact on the customer. When your customer is impacted, this has a direct correlation to your employee experience. Imagine dealing with angry customers day in and day out. You would have a pretty good idea of what you would do differently if you were in charge.
Taking time before implementing changes can have an impact on your business. Great service and repeat business are what you desire for the bottom line.