A man from British Gas came today to service our boiler- Richard. He was polite and friendly, and we struck up a conversation. I asked him how long his days were and what time he was finishing tonight (I wasn’t flirting, just making polite conversation!).
He was very enthusiastic and told me what a brilliant scheme British Gas operated, in that over the winter the engineers worked longer hours to ensure that they could meet the needs of their customers and reduce overtime, but reduced in the summer giving them more time off when their customers weren’t going to need them quite so much. He was very appreciative of this, and the hours suited him (he was a cricket fan).
He was, in short, an excellent advocate for British Gas, demonstrating that they thinking about their employees but also their customers. The experience for me was a great one, in that I was happy that he was happy and that BG were treating their employees well. I was a satisfied customer.
Compare his situation to the one I had last week, where we had someone (not from BG) come to do some work. He moaned about his company, told me he was thinking of leaving them to move to the competition as they treated their staff better and paid more, with better hours. Don’t get me wrong, he was a nice guy, but the experience was not a pleasant one and left me questioning the company he worked for. Without realising it, he was quietly sabotaging his company and if we weren’t tied in to a contract, I would have thought about taking my business elsewhere.
If your employees are out there meeting customers, you need to ensure that they are as engaged as possible and demonstrate pride and loyalty to your company. In this case, there is a direct link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. BG had got it right on this occasion, and the other company had got it really wrong.
It often takes a lot of resource to acquire new customers, so you need to make sure you’re keeping them. Often a small investment in engagement or a bit of ‘out the box’ thinking such as changing the hours people work can make a big difference. How many saboteurs have you got in your company?