National Customer service week – Day 3

Recognition: Celebrate your customer service heroes

The renowned psychologist Abraham Mazlow's placed ‘Self-esteem’ (the concern with getting recognition, status, importance, and respect from others) above the needs for social belonging and safety, giving credence to Dale Carnegie’s view that: "People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards".

Saying thank you for a job well done is the simplest, most effective way to reinforce positive behaviours and a strong corporate culture. It creates happy and, some research suggests, healthier employees. It can also make your business more productive. A study reported by Harvard Medical School and carried out by researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found employees who were thanked by their managers made 50% more fund-raising calls.

Recognition is as much a part of a successful employee engagement programme as basic 'pay and rations'. But putting them both together is a real 'win/win' Earlier this year the founder of Richer Sounds, Julian Richer, handed over a 60% stake in his business to over 500 staff. The immediate benefit to staff was a £1,000 bonus for every year worked. But, longer-term, they will have a say in how the business is run and enjoy a sense of ownership that will set their business apart.

Mr Richer told the BBC: "I've been running my business for 40 years and the overriding thing I've learned is that it's all about the people. If you treat your people right, then they are going to be happier, give a better service, stay with you".

It’s a philosophy that more and more businesses are embracing either through employee ownership (John Lewis, Riverford Organics, Aardman Animations) or through employee engagement. And it seems to be a winning formula that any business would do well to adopt.

The key principles of a reward and recognition programme are as follows:

It has to be fair – all participants must be treated equally and have the same opportunity to access all the rewards on offer. If the programme is seen as being unfair then it will have an effect counter to what is intended.

It must be aligned with a broader business strategy – Rewards should reinforce the outcomes that the organisation wants to achieve and should reinforce behaviours that reflect the values the brand aspires to.

Have a degree of authenticity – Reward or recognition by rote will motivate nobody. Programmes must allow for genuine and spontaneous recognition of performance to avoid becoming a ‘tick-box’ exercise.

Badges and leaderboards

One of the primary reasons why VoC programmes do not succeed is the failure to engage employees in the process. An integral part of our customer feedback platform is the ‘Badges and Leaderboards’ capability designed to boost employee engagement.

This lets ServiceTick users create a recognition and reward programme for their own employees that boosts engagement and incentivise great customer service. Front-line staff can be awarded badges that recognise:

  • the number of times they log into the console and engage with the customer feedback
  • the ‘anniversary’ achievements of high scores on questions relating directly to their performance (e.g. 25/50/100 times they score a 5 on CSAT or Effort questions)
  • the number of times agents save feedback about themselves
  • whether they have logged in on a ‘special’ day (e.g. Valentines, Easter, April 1st).

Clients choose what behaviours they recognise and reward with badges and can even offer ad hoc badges for one-off performance. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

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