How junior employees can make you the most profit
Have you ever thought about the fact that in most organisations the bulk of their sales and the quality of customer relationships are determined by the behaviour of some of their most junior personnel? And it all has to do with what we refer to as “a moment of truth” between the employee and a customer. Let’s unpack this a bit more and make it applicable to your business.
Brands are extremely powerful in influencing customer-buying behaviour. If your business lives up to its brand promise (the goods or services you promise to give and the quality thereof), and assuming you have one, consumers respond by buying regularly and buying more. The more positive and enjoyable the customer experience is with your product or service that lives-up to its promise, the higher the emotional association with that brand and the easier the customer will take out his/her wallet and continue to use such a product/service. These ‘brand promise keeper’ experiences between your company and a customer are like a savings account into which you can deposit ‘feel good’ experiences. And if your customer experiences are consistently meeting the promise, it builds customer loyalty. And loyal spending is good for business performance.
However, the inverse is unfortunately also true: if your customer has been exposed to a set of broken promises, their emotional association or savings account quickly gets withdrawn from, drains away and they stop spending money on your brand, spend their money somewhere else and will even in unsolicited conversation share their dissatisfaction of your company with colleagues, friends, and family.
The risk most companies face is that a customer’s experience of a brand is, in most instances, affected by the most junior personnel of a company. For example, when you go to a bank, the Teller behind the counter influences your entire banking experience. When they treat you poorly or just does not show a single friendly emotion, you don’t really blame the person, but talk about the poor service you got at that bank. When you go to a fast-food drive through restaurant, your entire experience is influenced by whomever serves you at the ordering, payment, and collection counter; when you fly domestically or internationally your air travel experience is influenced primarily by the way you get treated by the check-in agent and the chicken and beef options you get offered by the cabin assistants on the plane.
Employees that do not wholeheartedly represent the company brand and live up to its promises in that “moment of truth”, will impact negatively on a customer leading to an unpleasant experience. And an unimpressed customer has absolutely no reason to buy from you ever again.
Here’s another thought. Solving a dissatisfied customer issue does not make a customer satisfied; it only makes him or her not dissatisfied. From here, there is still a long way to go to build positive consistency in experiences and eventually loyalty.
So it is absolutely crucial that employers make sure that the employees in jobs that most connects with customers, are appropriately equipped and trained to represent their brands, their offerings, their promises and that these employees are engaged; because if they are not, a customer will just go and buy somewhere else.