CSP Happenings

Topic: Customer Service Experience

How to Create a Successful Customer Experience Strategy

September 8, 2017



CSP is happy to have guest-blogger, Andrew Huber of Harland Clarke return this month and share his insights on creating a customer experience strategy that is successful.


“How are we doing?”

This question is at the foundation of any organization’s quest for continuous improvement. For banks and credit unions, the answer encompasses more than an institution’s financial statements.

In customer-centric organizations, the role of customer feedback is critical to sustaining and deepening account holder relationships, and contributing to long-term profitability.

But, are we there yet?

While many financial institutions say they want to improve the customer experience, are they taking the necessary steps to get there?  A true voice of the customer strategy is a multi-faceted process whose focus is to understand the customer experience via actionable data and analysis on multiple levels.

Below are three important things to keep in mind if your financial institution desires a truly comprehensive customer survey experience.

3 Considerations for Creating a Useful Voice of the Customer Strategy

#1 – Consider All Customer Experience Touchpoints

First comes the design and deployment of surveys using a variety of methodologies. The focus is on gathering, measuring and interpreting customer experience feedback at every touchpoint, from new account openings in the branch to the call center and online channels. Every customer experience touchpoint must be considered, in order for your business to plan for it.

#2 – Ensure You’re Gathering the Right Data

Surveys are just the start.

One of the keys to a successful customer experience program lies in the data accumulated from everything that’s happened to this point. The data gathered needs to be both actionable and all-inclusive. In other words, it needs to include real-time knowledge across significant customer satisfaction metrics that can be applied directly to specific operational and frontline areas that impact the account holder experience. Measuring net promoter score may only scratch the surface of what your financial institution would like to learn.

Learn important satisfaction metrics to measure outside of net promoter score in the white paper, “Customer Experience: Beyond Net Promoter Score.”

Download Your Copy Here.

#3 – Figure Out (in Advance) How You’ll Analyze the Data

While the core value that such a program can provide shouldn’t be underestimated, there can also be a thin line between a comprehensive service that yields insightful customer understanding and one with reams of survey data but little customer insight that can be used to directly affect bottom line performance.

This is why it’s important to answer these questions in advance of implementing your survey strategy: once you’ve gathered the data, then what? Who will mine the data for actionable insights?

If you don’t have a data scientist on staff, consider outsourcing to a third-party.

In today’s customer-focused world, dissecting and analyzing the customer experience can provide key insight that banks and credit unions can use to ensure they are truly putting the customer first. This mindset paves the way for multiple benefits including:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Greater loyalty and retention
  • Better performance

Managers Should Encourage Employee Feedback

August 31, 2017

Managers and directors do a lot of talking, and rightly so. Their career experience puts them in positions where they provide instruction to their staff, lead employee evaluations and create strategic visions for the future of their companies. Despite their need to lead through direction, great managers listen carefully to their employees. They utilize feedback from staff to drive progress, and trust the judgment of their staff to make smart decisions.


To leverage the knowledge junior staff hold, managers must create an environment

where two-way communication is encouraged. Most office environments try to create a culture of open communication, but the difficulties of any business (personality clashes, revenue struggles, etc.) can damage those lines of communication. When employees feel their career progress may be at risk, due to a stubborn superior or concerns about layoffs, they put their heads down and work hard, rather than offering constructive criticism of the company. They want to appear as team players, and keep ideas to themselves out of

fear of appearing dissident or negative. This breakdown in communication misses an abundance of opportunity and ideas, which would otherwise make the company more efficient and profitable:

Blind Spots

Often, managers can’t be as detail-oriented in their work as junior staff members. Individuals with highly-specified roles know certain business processes inside and out. In turn, if there is an inefficiency or problem with those processes, junior staff tend to know about it (and usually complain about it to each other) first. Managers need to make sure those complaints are brought to their attention, and ensure that opportunities to improve reach their desks. Otherwise, those issues go unchanged and leave junior staff frustrated.

Office Morale

Companies that communicate poorly often see a “communication divide” arise between staff and management. Typically, management is happy with the company direction and sees a positive financial outlook, while the rest of the staff feel overworked and negated from the profitability their hard work achieves. This animosity creates a toxic culture, divided between staff and management, and management can sometimes be oblivious to those issues if staff only vocalize their dissatisfaction to each other. Mangers need to make sure their staff feels safe in expressing grievances when they arise.


The biggest folly of arrogance managers can make is assuming that good ideas must come from the top. Some of the most successful companies designate time for employees to pursue long-term, innovative projects that will create new revenue channels or huge efficiencies for the company. A good starting point for managers to create a culture of innovation is to regularly remind employees that new ideas are encouraged and welcomed. The sheer number of junior staff members (compared to managers), combined with the specificity of their work (detail-oriented) creates a major opportunity for innovation managers can’t afford to forego.

Occupation-Specific Trials and Tribulations

Depending on their roles within the company, different employees experience different perks and hardships. A call center representative may struggle with difficult customers, while a data analyst may long for more social interaction. Each job role is different, and managers need to understand the intricacies of the different job roles. When they understand the pros and cons of working within a specific department/role, they understand how to communicate with the department and comprehend what’s top-of-mind for those employees when they think about progress and goals.

Individualized Coaching

Above all else, employee feedback is the greatest coaching tool a manager can have. Understanding an individual’s perspective helps the manager tailor their coaching, address the employee’s concerns and create a better sense of camaraderie. If an employee doesn’t voice their opinions, training and coaching may feel irrelevant and the manager’s goals won’t gain the same respect as goals that are mutually created between employee and manager. Individuals are complex, and good managers appreciate that an employee is also a whole person with unique needs. In a sense, two-way communication can be a self-serving endeavor for the savvy manager: taking the veil away from what their employees are thinking streamlines a manager’s work and helps them address the root of their employees’ needs in the most efficient way possible.

Good Coaches Should Inform, Not Condescend

August 24, 2017

Managers and directors must be good coaches. The very nature of managing a staff team requires those in charge to make individuals within the team more skilled, smarter, and happier due to career satisfaction. Unfortunately, some managers fail to handle teaching moments with grace and sensitivity, and leave their employees feeling like a failed performer, rather than a valuable member of the team.

The reality is that high performers often rise to positions of management, and these same individuals sometimes lack the soft skills necessary to be a good coach. In a sense, they need to be coached on how to be a good coach. Coaching is a difficult skill that requires a sense of compassion, awareness, critical thinking and creativity. Simply put, a good coach should build employees up, rather than breaking them down. Here are some approaches managers should keep in mind when coaching opportunities arise:

Solution-Oriented Discussions

Every good discussion between management and staff should focus on a common goal that is desirable for both parties. Establishing a common desire and end goal helps align thinking and shifts the conversation in a way that is collaborative for the employee. This collaboration empowers employees to feel like partners in their own success, as well as the company’s. 

Inviting Employee Feedback

By creating a collaborative environment, managers create opportunities for employees to share experiences and opinions the managers might not otherwise see. Often, employees feel forced to tell white lies out of fear of sounding like they have bad attitudes. When there are legitimate issues with business processes or approaches, employees are often afraid to point them out due to fear of appearing to make excuses. When this happens, management misses out on key learning moments that might be holding the company back. It’s incredibly important for employees to feel comfortable expressing dissatisfaction with certain processes in place so that managers hear about blind spots they might not independently identify.

Specific Actions Instead of Vague Ideas

A good coach should always focus on specific actions employees can take to improve. Without clear directions, employees leave constructive feedback meetings with anxiety and agitation, rather than clarity and purpose. The more specific a manager can be, the more likely the employee will change behavior and feel confident in her/his actions.

A Pathway to Success, Rather Than Repercussions for Failure

When employees receive criticism, their big-picture concerns come to mind very quickly. They worry about job security, finances and the stability of their homes. Managers need to diffuse this sentiment by explaining how constructive feedback sets employees up for long term success. Instead of being concernedabout job security, employees should have confidence that their job security will be enhanced by coaching sessions. They should feel they can bring more value to the company and become a better, more important employee as a result.

Measurable, Small and Meaningful Goals Set by Coaches

Once employees feel comfortable and have specific actions they can take to improve, there should be a plan of action for them to gradually improve. Giving employees small, modest goals makes those improvements achievable and gives them something realistic to work toward. Coaches should explain how these small improvements are valuable, and follow up with praise when employees show concrete improvement.

When working with employees, managers should always give staff members the benefit of the doubt. People almost unanimously show up to work with the intention of performing well, and managers need to maintain this mindset, rather than doubting their team members. Business is highly personal, and points of constructive criticism are most effective when framed in the context of helping, rather than hurting, employees. Managers who do this well see low turnover, high performance and company culture that is built on a solid foundation of trust.

Transforming your business’s perception of customer experience

August 15, 2017

If you’re a business executive, director or manager, you know customer experience should belong at the center of your daily activities. However, many organizations focus more on their operations, products and internal work environment than on their customers. How can businesses improve? Creating lasting structural change within an organization isn’t easy. However, executives can encourage their companies to transition toward customer-centricity by focusing on customer experience. Here are four major transitions in mindset and attitude executives can encourage:

As highlighted in this Forbes article, many companies are structured around products instead of customers. This is a symptom of a company being too self-involved to take a step back and understand its customers. When a business focuses too much on itself, it looks at the products it provides, how they can be improved and what new products they can bring to the table. Conversely, a customer-centric business understands who it serves, what their needs are and how the business can delight these individuals. Businesses must switch to customer-centric thinking by letting customers define their business, constantly soliciting feedback and putting their experiences at the forefront of the business.

Business helper to business differentiator

In financial services, most providers think they are relationship-focused above all else. However, according to the Bank Administration Institute, consumers rarely think of financial service providers as being relationship-focused. The reality is that the various responsibilities business face (marketing, sales, project administration, IT, etc.), while important, have the capacity to distract from the central goal of a business to make its customers happy. Businesses must move from a model that likes strong relationships with customers to a model that prioritizes strong customer relationships above all else.

Nice-to-have to must-have

Many businesses fail to regularly solicit feedback from customers. More commonly, businesses solicit feedback, but fail to analyze or act appropriately on their customers’ requests. Businesses tend to prioritize daily operations and revenue goals above trainings and meetings regarding customer experience because the day-to-day items feel more urgent. However, this designation of what is important is based on the perspective of the business professional, rather than the customer. Back-of-the-house work helps the business itself function, but does little to contribute to customer satisfaction. If a company’s priorities stay out-of-whack for too long, hundreds or thousands of customers are left with an underwhelming or mediocre perception of the company due to faltering customer experience. This underwhelming experience risks losing customers, and makes the brand’s/company’s value rely solely on the products it offers, which is a hugely risky strategy, as products are constantly changing and innovating among competitors. Making customers excited about the brands they do business with is a must-have.

General effort to specific behaviors

Almost all business care about customer experience, but they don’t know how to improve. Here is a typical, and poor, format for acting on customer feedback: Negative customer feedback comes in through dissatisfied customers reaching out to management, management calls together a meeting to highlight the issue and demand improvement, and employees make efforts to improve, masking over the underlying causes of poor customer experience for long enough that the issue slips from everyone’s mind. Sound familiar? This failed effort happens due to lack of ongoing coaching and training. The reality is that customer experience relies on a practiced set of behaviors and actions. CSP strives to utilize Voice of the Customer research to guide ongoing coaching sessions and training sessions with management. Meaningful change only comes when it is practiced regularly and when positive customer experience behaviors become engrained through repetition and training.

ROI of customer experience research

If you’re already reading this, there’s a good chance you see value in customer experience research. Understanding your customers – what delights them about your company, or what annoys them to the point where they

begin to explore your competitors – is essential in today’s competitive landscape. However, many businesses fail to dedicate the time and energy necessary to understanding their customers. Customer experience research isn’t an annual event that belongs in a PowerPoint slide – it’s the lifeblood of an organization, and should be treated as such.

In order to give customer experience research the attention it deserves, it’s important to remember the return on investment (ROI) customer experience research provides, and the different ways it pays off:

Customer Retention

The most obvious ROI for customer experience research is customer retention. Simply put, happy customers don’t leave. As brands become more sophisticated and competitive with the services/products they offer, customer experience becomes an increasingly important competitive advantage. In fact, many businesses and organizations continue to adopt the mentality that customer experience is their greatest differentiator among competitors. For a long time, businesses have found worth in customer retention due to the higher cost of acquiring a new customer, rather than maintaining an existing one. Now, that incentive has increased by placing customer experience as a form of customer retention, a focal model for competitive advantage and an expectation of Millennial customers.

Offering New Products and Services

Learning about customer experience helps businesses in a couple of important ways: They learn how their customers think, which in turn improves their customers’ satisfaction with them. These two customer experience improvements allow companies to offer new products or services in tactful ways. When they understand how their customers think, they can proactively address needs or desires with services/products they already have available. Likewise, when customers are increasingly happy with a business, they’re more open to enhancing their relationship. They know the company has their best interest in mind, so they trust new business opportunities and offers. Targeted customer feedback can guide businesses in enhancing relationships on a customer-to-customer basis, and provide a roadmap for future interactions with specific customers.

Development of New Services

Customer experience research gives businesses a new level of insight into their customers’ thought and needs, and opens the door to identify trends of unmet needs. These trends in feedback often lead to new products, new services or simply changes in the way they do business. In the same way, businesses avoid “flop” product/service rollouts when they listen closely to their customers. Through customer experience research, businesses tend to find a gap that their customers need, rather than creating a product that may or may not be desired. This gap directs their attention and guides the development of a new product or services, rather than taking a shot in the dark.

Customer Advocacy

Companies invest millions of dollars every year toward advertising expenses, offering incentives for new customers and hiring third party social media strategists to increase their brand awareness. However, customer advocacy remains one of the most effective ways to obtain new customers. When a client is so excited about a brand or service that they reach out to their friends and family, those potential customers know the perspective is coming from a source they trust. They place the highest value on trusted recommendations without an ulterior motive. Customer experience research ensures that businesses aren’t just satisfactory, but that they understand their customers enough to truly excite and engage them in a way that inspires this type of customer advocacy.

If your organization is ever in doubt about the ROI of customer experience research, take time to outline the ways it impacts customer retention, pitching new products, development of new services and creating customer advocacy.

Likewise, keep these different categories top-of-mind when conducting customer experience research, and use it as an opportunity to grow the most lucrative parts of your business.

KPI: A must-have tool for financial institutions

August 8, 2017


Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are becoming an increasingly important tool for financial institution executives as they move into the future. True to their name, they offer a measurable, quantifiable look at how well a financial institution performs over time on key drivers of revenue and profitability. Examples of KPIs include, but certainly aren’t limited to new accounts opened, products per customer or net promoter score.

With more data available than ever before, it’s important to understand the power of KPIs. Specifically, managers and coaches should have a firm grasp on what harnessing and measuring KPIs can do for their financial institutions, and what they can’t do.

What can KPIs do?

Show revenue streams by performance. A good example of a KPI is the total dollar value of an individual revenue stream, and executives use KPIs to answer questions about their incoming revenue. What are a financial institution’s total account holdings? What portion of their loans are car loans versus mortgages? Understanding the performance of these different revenue streams helps directors and executives know where trouble areas are and where opportunities lie. They can understand which elements of their financial institutions are most important to protect and have an accurate picture of their business priorities.

Encourage hypothesis. When executives look at their strengths and weaknesses, they can make inferences about why those strengths and weaknesses exist. This is particularly important when a KPI trends up or down, which opens the door for next steps of research and insights. For example, if the amount of new accounts opened is dropping each month, executives should try to understand the root cause. Are fewer customers coming through the door? Do local competitors offer a better interest rate? Are employees failing to convert prospects into customers? Executives don’t have a crystal ball, but guessing and testing these different hypotheses can help, especially to redirect faltering KPIs and mitigate lost revenue.

Highlight importance of customer relationships. Customer relation KPIs, such as loyalty index, net promoter score and customer relation feedback, help executives understand what makes their financial institutions better or worse than their competitors. Iterative scoring, along with qualitative feedback directly from customers, helps executives make sense of what is on their customers’ minds and what is important to them. Feedback gives context to the areas of the financial institution that are thriving or faltering, and often offers a recommendation for improvement.

What can’t KPIs do?

Teach employees how to interact with customers. Scoring alone can’t explain the interpersonal skills necessary for a successful customer experience. More feedback in the form of customer experience research is necessary to understand KPIs. For example, executives can use KPIs to learn that consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with a bank’s call center, but they must dig deeper to understand how to improve. Often, subtle interactions send strong messages about a financial institution’s brand. Customers need to feel respected by their financial institutions, and the institutions need to actively promote relationships and look for opportunities for growth. Coaching, qualitative feedback and close observation are needed to develop true mastery of customer interaction.

Create a strategy. KPIs are great starting places for developing a strategy for improvement, but they’re far from the final plan. They illustrate strengths and weaknesses, but coaches and managers need to work with their staff to create a plan of action. If a KPI is constantly improving, how can they expand that aspect of their business and seek out new opportunities? If a KPI is faltering, managers need to coach employees on specific actions for improvement, or look at their financial institution’s value propositions and understand where they might fall short compared to competitors. KPIs are wonderful diagnostic tools, but understanding a problem alone doesn’t offer a solution.

KPIs are becoming increasingly specific, and managers are working with partners to measure KPIs, understand them in an easy-to-digest manner and use them to direct the priorities of their financial institutions. These tools have limits, but their ability to direct attention and establish data-driven confidence makes them an important element of financial institutions’ decision making, and they will become increasingly utilized in the future.

What Does Customer Experience Mean For Financial Institutions?

August 2, 2017



CSP is happy to have guest-blogger, Andrew Huber, Program Manager at Harland Clarke, share his insights about customer experience (CX) and the need for financial institutions to deliver outstanding service at every touchpoint.



You likely know that the key to any strong, long-lasting business is delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX).

Unfortunately, when it comes to financial institutions, there can be a big disconnect between the experience they think they’re providing vs. the experience account holders are receiving. For instance, 41 percent of banks and credit unions consider themselves “relationship focused,” while just 13 percent of consumers say the same.

So how can financial institutions stay competitive and deliver an outstanding CX? Especially when, in the age of mobile devices and social media, everyone wants something tailored just for them?

The answer is surprisingly simple (and yet incredibly difficult) – financial institutions must deliver outstanding service at every touchpoint in the customer experience, from in-branch to call center and from online to mobile device.

This white paper reveals that account holders remain loyal to their financial institutions for five main reasons:

  • They were treated well
  • They experienced good communication
  • They received high quality advice
  • Their problems were resolved quickly
  • They had a personal relationship with at least one financial institution employee

Financial institutions have a strong incentive to keep account holders happy: increasing customer retention just 5 percent can show a 25-95 percent increase in profits. This is because acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5-25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one, with customers having a positive experience spending 140 times more than ones who have a bad experience.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Regardless of the context, people are loyal to who and what makes them happy, they’re more willing to recommend the source of their happiness, and they’re likely to want more from this source. Their financial institutions are no exception.

Creating a positive CX sounds easy enough, but these statistics only convey the benefits, not how crucial it is to get customer experience right.

In one study, 41 percent of account openers and 33 percent of account closers cited customer experience as the number one reason for making their decision, outranking competitive interest rates, low fees and location.

It can take years to build a positive customer experience, but a single negative experience, a single episode of poor customer service, or a single complaint that goes unaddressed can cost a financial institution an account holder — or more, thanks to the power of social media.

CX Best Practices
Want to ensure your financial institution is prepared to deliver an outstanding CX? Find eight best practices to implement in this white paper, “Customer Experience: Best Practices for Growing Revenue.”

> Download your copy here


Customer feedback: Why your business needs a panel

July 27, 2017

Customer feedback is the most direct way to impact customer experience. According to Walker, by 2020, customer experience, will be the standout distinguishing characteristic of business strategies for B2B companies. Price and product are secondary, but customer experience stands head and shoulders above the other elements as the most important. It’s incredible, really. We live in a business culture where we’re often told that the best product for the lowest price wins. However, the delivery of that product, and the way the product resonates with the human purchaser, are the factors that reign supreme.

Needless to say, customer experience is important. However, most companies don’t know how to instigate improvement in customer service within their companies. Mangers tell their employees to try hard, repeat mantras like “the customer is always right,” and hope that pure willpower will take customer experience to the next level. These efforts, while admirable, aren’t especially productive. Most importantly, they’re not measurable or sustainable.

To create lasting customer experience improvements, companies should partner with a customer experience research expert. Among other things, customer experience researchers develop customer panels, or groups of customers who give honest and open feedback. Customer panels are invaluable for many reasons:

Statistical validity of customer feedback

When customers decide to participate in a panel, they do so voluntarily. Customer experience researchers can make sure to pick and choose customers that are representative of the whole, based on factors like shopping location, income, type of customer and other demographic factors. The feedback from customer panels is intended to instigate change, so making sure the data is accurate and representative of the customer base as a whole is vital.

Actionable and diagnostic

Using customer panels benefits the sponsoring company because the feedback is unequivocally significant to customers. By probing on different customer experiences and interactions with the brand, a business can affect change in the most direct way possible based on the most pertinent and important feedback.

Identifies individual employees

Customer panels can be accessed at different points of purchase/interaction. As a result, individual employees can be identified. This isn’t intended to persecute employees, but rather, to help provide the most targeted and specific customer feedback possible. Feedback that is too general falls on deaf ears for employees, or doesn’t render itself important when they think about their job duties and responsibilities. However, providing direct feedback from customers about individuals inherently demands employees’ attention. Employees learn about their own job performance from real-life case studies, and the quality of the feedback leads to meaningful lessons and actions for improvement.

Ongoing feedback

Iterative feedback may be the most important benefit of customer panels. By routinely collecting scores and evaluations, companies can learn about their own improvement and the overall direction of customer experience within their company. Without iterative feedback, managers have no way of knowing whether their efforts are helping, and have no goals to work toward. Regular, statistically valid feedback from customer panels creates the framework for continuous and incremental improvement in customer experience.

While different for each company and type of business, customer experience is directly related to revenue per customer and customer likelihood to refer new business. CSP serves as a customer experience research partner with the experience and capability of developing a statistically valid customer panel. CSP’s Voice of the Customer Research turns that panel into actionable insights managers and executives can use to drive revenue through a proven model.

Are you coaching your employees across these three categories?

July 18, 2017


Coaching employees is an essential step in creating a positive work culture. Happy employees need opportunities for continuous improvement and a chance to thrive in their roles. Strong customer experience relies on good coaching and training, and managers themselves must work on improving their own skills as a good coach to ensure the success of their work environments.

In a productive work environment, managers find coaching opportunities in day-to-day interactions, looking for teachable moments to help employees improve the way they work. In addition, periodic reviews and one-on-one sessions create an important two-way dialogue between managers and employees to help create a mutually developed plan for improvement.

However, quarterly reviews and pats on the back aren’t enough to make lasting business improvements. Managers need to consider the category of feedback they give, and if they are coaching the holistic employee. An employee may be great in meetings with clients, but struggle internally to keep their work organized. A different employee may have incredible technical skills, but come off as abrasive during when interacting with colleagues. Coaching needs to cover different categories, and hitting these different categories of employee performance helps create a more complete business professional. Business professionals benefit from comprehensive coaching feedback and, consequently, continue to develop as high performers.


Often, technical learning falls on the side of training, rather than coaching. Employees work in a group setting to learn the skills needed to do their jobs well. Despite this, managers can help coach the overall learning experience. Good coaches should help their employees self-reflect by asking them what skills they excel at, which the struggle with and how the manager and employee can work together to create a work environment where everyone feels successful. Managers give perspective to technical learning by explaining its importance to the employee and placing it in the context of the business. Moreover, managers help point employees in the right direction of help and support to improve technical skills. If an employee wants more assistance, managers either have an opportunity to give instruction or find someone within the company who can provide the most useful instruction.


Employees need guidance on interpersonal skills, and this category is particularly important for coaching since it receives such little formal training. Mangers have years of experience and have worked with hundreds of professionals, so they tend to be able to identify an employee’s interpersonal strengths and weaknesses. When an employee’s interpersonal skills are strong, their ideas and contributions tend to shine because they know how to present their ideas in a digestible, constructive manner. When a manager coaches interpersonal skills across an organization, the business environment thrives and office cohesion results in great customer satisfaction.


Great product/service delivery relies on planning, revision, adjustment and time for contemplation. When an employee has time to do all of this, he or she can deliver the best work possible. The only way to have enough time for these different activities is through organizational skills. Great work requires advanced planning and building in time for unexpected requests. Unfortunately, organizational skills tend to be under-coached. Managers try not to micromanage their employees and want to show flexibility by acknowledging that individuals have their own methods of working. However, managers have career experience, and are required, by the managerial nature of the job title, to be highly organized. Coaches should give employees enough independence that they feel respected, but also offer suggestions for getting work done in a more efficient, organized way. Advice on how to organize calendars, block out individual days and stay abreast with many simultaneous tasks/projects is invaluable information for less-experienced employees.

Next time you consider the way you coach employees, think about the different topics you cover in your coaching sessions. How comprehensive is your coaching? Are you only covering specific technical skills in your coaching style, or are you cultivating the entire employee? Great service delivery requires great professionals, and professionals can’t be great unless they continuously improve a diverse set of technical, interpersonal and organizational skills. By evaluating their own coaching approaches, managers can accelerate the learning process for their employees and turn junior staff members into multi-talented professionals who will innovate and drive business.

Unhappy employees put your customers at risk

Employee engagement is an important part of any business, but its importance extends beyond feel-good factors. Sometimes, the business world speaks about employee satisfaction as a non-essential element of business. There is an impression that employers should strive for good employee satisfaction, but if employees aren’t entirely happy, the bottom line still must be met and everyone will go home satisfied enough with their paychecks.

bad customer service

However, employee satisfaction has bottom-line revenue effects. Satisfied employees feel invested in their companies, have a sense of mutual destiny with the companies they work for and approach their job roles with creativity and drive to improve. Conversely, dissatisfied employees run the risk of not only feeling unhappy, but channeling that unhappiness into behaviors that worsen customers’ experience and satisfaction.

No matter the strength of a business plan, most companies rely on a multitude of employees to execute those plans. Troubled employees jeopardize the health of their businesses in the following ways:

Lack of attention to detail

Unhappy employees tend to be highly focused on their status and personal underachievement in their job role. They worry about their own performance, and sometimes feel like a scapegoat when things go wrong. Managers should be concerned about this mindset because it distracts from the wants and needs of clients. The self-focused employee always struggles to go above-and-beyond for clients, and tends to miss specific detail-oriented tasks, which are often distinguishing factors between a business and its competitors.

Missed opportunity for development 

Any good company tries to improve its employees through training, but the employee’s own commitment to improvement is equally, if not more, important for results. A continuous cycle of improvement and promotion is important for so many reasons: It improves longevity of employees within a business, incentivizes other staff members through example and creates a culture where employees are striving to excel in their roles, rather than simply treading water. Unmotivated employees, and their employers, miss out on this development cycle and hurt the culture of achievement within the workplace.

Apathy to customer success

Praise and positive feedback are important for employees to receive not only from their managers, but from their clients. Without positive feedback from clients, employees can slip into a state of feeling that their work isn’t valuable. When they don’t see the value of their work, they feel less inclined to overachieve in the future, unsure of the impact of their hard work. Clients suffer as a result, and may turn to competitors or reduce their business with the company.

Lack of connection to company bottom line

Perhaps the most profound effect of employee dissatisfaction is the feeling of separation an excluded employee feels toward the company’s financial standing. Connected employees feel personally responsible for improving the profitability of a company because they assume their efforts will be rewarded. If an employee isn’t incentivized or doesn’t feel included, the employee assumes that any success the company experiences will pass them by. They don’t anticipate company success to reward them, personally. Employees must feel connected to their companies and understand that their own career success is synonymous with the success of the business.

While it’s sometimes tempting as managers to become frustrated with employee complaints, it’s important to understand the reasons behind those complaints. It’s even more important to be able to identify unspoken dissatisfaction in the workplace and approach dissatisfaction with a solution-oriented mindset. Individuals are responsible for their own happiness, but managers can impact the culture of the workplace, and must do so to protect their clients, revenues and long term trajectories of their businesses.