Having Trouble Landing Customers? Start By Retaining Employees
Business to business organizations are similar to others in that customers are what keep them going, and figuring out how to find and retain customers isn’t a problem unique to any business. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single key to landing customers and keeping them loyal and satisfied? Well, there is, and that key is employee retention. Cultivating satisfied and engaged employees is your ticket to finding more customers that actually want to stick around.
This idea isn’t new either. Happy employees have always been the key to retaining happy customers, even if businesses haven’t always seen it that way. It’s a logical conclusion that most business officials agree with, but putting it into place is a little more difficult. It involves strong leadership that can implement best practices and improve current business dealings to make it happen.
Start with the Atmosphere
The practice of making employees feel uncomfortable in the workplace in order to make them more productive is highly outdated. Hard chairs and low temperatures have actually been known to ruin efficiency rather than improve it. Now, we know that employees who are comfortable and healthy produce 10 times the productivity and quality of work as the employees that are uncomfortable.
Everything from the kind of furniture you use to the temperature of the room can make a huge difference in improving the atmosphere for your employees. It’s also a good idea to look at the office and determine what it needs to be more conducive for working. If there aren’t many windows, have “happy lights” installed. These lighting treatments mimic the powers of the sun, which can improve employee morale. A fully stocked kitchen, a playful employee break room, and well maintained facilities can also significantly improve employee happiness, thus increasing productivity and engagement with customers.
Offer a Few Perks and Incentives
When it comes to employees deciding to stay with a job or move on, it’s often a matter of the highest bidder. What can you offer your employees that other companies can’t? While compensation and handing out raises can be a tricky business, companies can offer non-capital perks that make working in a particular place more enjoyable.
Instead of offering money and adding to employee benefits, be more creative with your incentives by awarding things like telecommuting opportunities or more vacation days. These kinds of incentives give employees the idea that you trust them and are willing to be flexible with their work schedules, which will mean much more to most people than a little extra capital each month.
Work from the Top Down
In most cases, employee retention is a matter of great leadership. Overbearing, micromanaging bosses won’t instill any kind of trust in their employees. It will only make them excited to move on to the next best thing. That lack of enthusiasm will translate into their dealings with customers, which won’t benefit your company in the slightest.
Strong leadership means modeling the actions you would like your employees to take. It generally involves dedicated communication between all parties, adequate training on all of your processes, and a willingness to do the same tasks assigned to employees. As leaders learn to model their passion and enthusiasm for the company’s products and services, customers will respect them for it, and feel a certain drive to do the same.
Hold Stay Interviews
Most companies try to hold exit interviews with employees that move on. These are useful for learning how to improve the company in the future. But why wait for the future? Your company can learn how to make their employees stay by conducting stay interviews.
Call various employees into the office and ask them why they stay, what would make them leave, what tasks they’d love to be doing, how management can improve, and more. It’s important to note that you might not like the answers to all of these questions, but avoid holding grudges and work to improve the ideas brought up in the meeting so you can see better customer retention as a result.