Do all of your employees know what features and benefits your company offers? Can they explain them?
Here is a little test for you. In your next meeting ask your employees what are the features and benefits of your company and why would someone want to do business with you.
Many employees do not even know the company mission statement let alone the benefits that your company provides to its customers.
In fact, a lot of them can only tell you the top 2 or 3 “hot buttons” that are the flavor of the month in your service organization.
Anything deeper requires them to get the customer off the phone or have them wait in the lobby so they can “check with someone else” and find out that “Yes! Indeed! We do offer a lifetime guarantee on our widget, and we even provide a loaner while it is being serviced and repaired.”
How about making a list of all the features and benefits that your company provides and list those on a handy reference guide that is handed to all the front line, back line and any line that even has a remote chance of interacting with your customer? Tried it before you say? Too many to list you say?
Let’s see, I would rather A. Have my tongue tied to the back of a company truck bound for Needles or B. Make a reference guide that has the features and benefits of doing business with your company that every employee can read and hang on to and access immediately if needed or C.
Just keep doing what we have been doing because it is so much fun to have our customers (the people that pay the bills) wait for us to actually bring our business from the Dark Ages to the present, because we all know that there is a never ending supply of customers. Right?
Now that you have a handy reference guide for your employees to use when helping your customers, ask all of your employees if they know the benefits of working in your company.
Surprise! Half of them don’t know anything except the days they get paid and when “my benefits kick in.” Out of the other half, a certain percentage of them can tell you what is acceptable on the expense form and what is not and the rest only show up at work because they know the address or that “there is a mini-mart on the corner where you make the turn into the driveway.”
Take the time to make your employees aware of the reason they come to work. It’s not a paycheck and it’s not because it’s “close to the house.” Not only are they there to make a living, they want to feel like they are part of the bigger picture. Tell them. Make them a part of the picture and not “just the people who hang the picture on the wall.”
Let them know of the features and benefits of your company. I bet that if you have a tuition reimbursement plan in your company and you asked 100 employees, 30 to 40 of them would not even know the plan existed. (It’s probably closer to 70) If your employees can get excited about the features and benefits of your company, they might begin to show some pride. And that will begin to show up on your Customer’s faces in the form of a smile.
And no, isn’t not obvious!
People are not mind readers. You cannot expect that because you handed them the company manual (it’s only 120 pages) and that it “explains everything and if you need anything just read it first before you ask me” that they know what you have to offer, what type of training you provide and why they should stay on with the company.
And no, they do not know the mission statement because it’s on the back of their security card or on a plaque hanging in the meet and greet room. If they can’t tell you what the mission statement is (or means), the purpose for them being there or why they do what they do, how can you expect them to help your Customers understand why it’s in their best interest to continue doing business with you?
Take the time to break it down, give them small bites of information or have “re-information meetings” if you need to, just get the word ou.
About the Author
Leonard Buchholz leads seminars in Customer Service, Attitude and Skills and Management. He also provides coaching and consulting in Customer Service.