Do you remember the last time you saw an “Employee of the Month” award? If you were a customer, did you recognize the name of the winner? Probably not. Could you tell what he or she did to win the award? Unlikely.
If you were a staff member, did someone winning the monthly award motivate you to higher achievements? Doubtful. Did you understand exactly what he or she did to become the monthly winner? More doubtful still.
If you truly want to improve customer satisfaction, inspire employees in more effective ways. Awards can stimulate and motivate the staff. But simple “Employee of the Month” programs can quickly devolve into mindless and political rituals with very little meaning and no impetus to improve customer satisfaction.
You need something more engaging to improve customer satisfaction with service and employee performance.
Review this list of ideas for meaningful recognition of your staff. Use a different one each month, or several at a time to boost morale and improve customer satisfaction.
• Happiest Customer Comment (read it out to everyone)
• Most Customers Served (when volume counts)
• Best Service Recovery (share the problem, the action and the outcome)
• Most Effective Service Improvement (What was changed? What was the result?)
• Best Internal Service Partner (voted by all other staff or departments)
• Top Rookie Award (best performance by someone new)
• Speedy Service Award (fastest response, repair, delivery or installation)
• Terrific Teaching Trophy (for the staff member who helps others learn the most)
• Most Supportive Move by the Boss (given by the grateful employees)
• Above and Beyond Award (for someone who went the extra mile)
• Best Supplier of the Month (bring them in for applause)
• Most Valuable Mistake of the Month (What happened? How much did we lose? How much did we learn?)
You can make medals, prizes, trophies, certificates, plaques, ribbons and stars. You can give dinners, cash, time off, flowers or simply abundant applause.
Let people know at the beginning of each month which awards will be granted at the end. Or keep a list of ideas close at hand, and award them spontaneously whenever a winning performance arises. Keep it interesting, keep it fresh, keep it going. It can help improve customer satisfaction.
Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Satisfaction
People want to work where company culture is dynamic. No more boring “Employee of the Month!” Create something new and more effective to engage, encourage, focus, motivate, appreciate, stimulate, celebrate and arouse everyone. The end result will be happier employees who strive to improve customer satisfaction.
Action Steps To Improve Customer Satisfaction
Look at the recognition programs you presently apply at work. Are they fresh, interesting and effective? Do they inspire workers to improve customer satisfaction? Now make a list of the efforts and actions you want to see more of every day: service, sales, cost reductions, work improvement, innovation, teamwork, you name it! Create “special prizes” for those areas that will inspire your people, bolster their performance, improve customer satisfaction and enhance your company culture.
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit Uplifting Service.
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