The third post in our Customer Service Week series by Samantha Saunders examines the importance of employee engagement and recognition.
Recognition: Celebrate your customer service heroes
At OmniServ, our biggest single UK contract is with Heathrow Airport, where we deliver assistance for passengers classified as PRM — People with Reduced Mobility. That’s an industry and government definition; to us they are part of our valued customer base.
Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest international passenger airports, and around 1.2 million PRM passengers use it every year. We also provide PRM services at Liverpool, Edinburgh, Stansted and now Manchester Airport, adding up to 1.8 million passengers a year needing assistance. OmniServ’s other airport responsibilities include Portering, Bussing and Coaching solutions, Security, Airline Check-In and Baggage Handling, Aircraft Services, Cleaning and, through our travel retail division, Blackjack Promotions, Brand Ambassadors and Retail Hosts.
These varied services have one thing in common: they directly impact the consumer experience.
Research clearly shows that in businesses like ours, one of the first steps to delivering enhanced customer experience is to engage employees and energise them by recognising and sharing examples of great service delivery and positive customer feedback.
A 2017 report from CX experts the Medallia Institute highlighted the importance of involving team members. The report states that “employees are highly accurate in their assessments of customer satisfaction and the quality of their company’s service delivery. If you give them more opportunities to share their insights and suggestions, you’ll be far better equipped to understand and respond to your customers.”
The teams on the ‘front line’ with direct customer experience can provide great insight and feedback on how they feel their own performance could be improved.
Research also clearly supports the argument that the morale and engagement of employees directly impact customer satisfaction. And customer satisfaction directly impacts how well companies perform – a point which management consultancy Bain & Co has been making for many years.
Maurice Fitzgerald, former VP of Customer Experience for HP and HPE’s $4bn software division, says “in high-touch businesses” – ones where direct employee-customer contact is high – “variations in employee satisfaction explain 16.8% of the variations in customer satisfaction. Among well-represented industries, the nine hotel chains top the list at 61.8%, followed by 17 supermarket chains at 49.1%.”
OmniServ is very definitely a “high touch” business and our experience is that engaged and motivated employees contribute in a big way to customer experience.
Customer services companies – a category I would include OmniServ in – need to be talking to their staff and their customers, to find out what both groups think are important and what both groups think the company is doing well and needs improvement
It’s also incredibly important to thank team members and reward them for doing an outstanding job, because if they feel part of the family, this will be reflected in their daily interactions.
At OmniServ, we have a variety of ways to thank staff. For example, we have the 110% Club program that recognizes employees who have really gone ‘above and beyond’ in delivering services. Those who score most highly are rewarded with trips to interesting and glamourous locations – but there is always an element of learning about customer service involved, to reinforce the key message, that customer service drives our business.
Other articles in this series:
- Delivering Quality Customer Service to Disabled Passengers
- Deliver Better Customer Service by Breaking Down Internal Barriers
- Company-Wide Commitment Is Needed to Lead Customer Service Innovation
- Working in Partnership to Deliver Enhanced Customer Service
OmniServ Limited is the International Division of ABM Aviation, the aviation division of ABM Industries. ABM Aviation provides a comprehensive range of innovative and dependable solutions, including Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) Operations, to more than 100 airports globally. This includes the top 30 airports within the USA and 15 airports within the UK. Established in 2004, OmniServ employs over 5000 staff delivering ‘Legendary Service’ across a wide portfolio of aviation services.