I’ve been surprised to read in the business press over the past few months that employee engagement is no longer important. The rationale is that people are happy to have a job in the current economy and won’t leave even if they are discontented – which presupposes that the only reason to engage people is to keep them from leaving.
Have you ever been served by a customer service person who was disengaged? Someone who obviously didn’t care much about whether you were satisfied with their service or not – they were just going through the motions of getting the job done. Like me, you may have stopped doing business with those companies, and the lack of engagement has cost them another customer.
With the cutbacks in employee numbers that many organizations have made over the past 12 months, service staff are under much greater pressure to deal with longer lines and customers frustrated with having to wait for service, or to even get to speak with a live person over the phone.
Leaders need to be even more focused on engagement to help employees deal with the increased pressure they are under, keep existing customers loyalty and win over those new customers who are looking for a provider who cares about their needs.
What is your experience of service standards in the current environment? Have you had more difficulty getting good service because less staff seem to be available? Post a comment to let me know if you have had great service as well.