“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel,” writes author of Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care, Sybil F. Stershic. “And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.”
The better your employees feel about their work, the better your clients will feel about your brand. Satisfied employees engaging with customers demonstrate pride and enthusiasm for your business.
When your staff delivers superior customer service, it’s crucial to recognize their efforts. But how? Here are 15 ways to recognize superior customer service provided by your employees.
When an employee or a team completes a project before the deadline or performs well for several weeks in a row, share this success with upper management. A quick email to management, with the individual/team copied on it, that details the excellent work accomplished shows you have taken the time to acknowledge their efforts.
A simple, handwritten thank you note takes less than five minutes but has a long-lasting effect. Handwriting a note of appreciation to a customer service employee who has gone above and beyond the call of duty will make that person feel wonderful about their work. Sweeten the gesture with a $10 gift card to Starbucks or a nearby lunch spot.
Acknowledge a job well-done
Even if it was a small, one-off project, be sure you take a moment out of your day to tell a customer service employee doing a good job that you’ve noticed their work and appreciate it. You can even share the employee’s efforts at a team meeting or in a group email. Just acknowledging a job well-done will go a long way with your customer service representatives.
Invite customer service employees to participate in activities normally reserved for management. For example, a management meeting that includes some lower-level employees shows you’re interested in their thoughts about the topic and that they are a valuable member of the company.
Plan a surprise event
When your customer service employees least expect, surprise them with a party that recognizes their work. Some snacks, music, and maybe even a few drinks, and before you know it, your employees will feel far more satisfied in their jobs.
Organize a staff appreciation program
Create a system that allows customer service staff to earn points for their hard work. Through the staff appreciation program, they can cash in the points they’ve earned for small prizes, such as company-brand swag, or paid time off. You can even make it a competition to see which employee earns the most points each month or throughout the year.
Ask for input
Your employees have insights into your customer service process and business that management might not have considered. Host brainstorming meetings or get a suggestion box for the office. It can be intimidating for customer service representatives to express their suggestions or concerns, so make it easy for them and they’ll feel heard.
Make room for personal efforts
Does one of your employees volunteer with a local non-profit organization? Maybe one of your customer service reps plays in a band. Reserve a space in a common area, like a break room, where employees can post about what they are doing outside the office. This encourages comradely among your customer service team.
Think outside of the box
Schedule a meeting with upper-level management to discuss creative methods for recognizing your customer service staff. Consider fun, off-site events or engaging team building exercises. The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways management can recognize customer service successes.
Calling an employee into your office to discuss their impressive work is a guaranteed mood-booster. It takes a few minutes and that employee who stayed late or picked up the extra slack will always remember that you were considerate enough to talk to them about their efforts in-person, one-on-one.
If your company has a newsletter or its own intranet platform, share customer service accomplishments in these spaces. Let everyone know how well an employee or a team is doing. This will not only be appreciated by the person/team but also motivate others to work hard so they can be included in the next announcement.
Present successful programs
When a customer service team executes a program successfully, have them share their work with the company. Organize a meeting where the team can present to management and elaborate on their accomplishments.
Start an Employee of the Month initiative
Have employees nominate one another for your company’s new Employee of the Month program. At the end of each month, present the Employee of the Month with a special certificate (don’t forget the jacket to make it even more special) at a company-wide meeting. Maybe even offer the Employee of the Month a special incentive, like a paid day off or lunch at a sit-down restaurant.
Take the time to have some cake on your customer service employees’ birthdays or raise a glass on their work anniversaries. These are people, not cogs in a machine. Celebrating their special moments means you care about more than just their work.
Get to know them
Your employees are more than just their jobs. They have families, hobbies, and interests. They support charities, play on teams, or enjoy a variety of other non-work related activities. Learn the personal details of your customer service reps so you can engage in a real conversation with them.