Four Ways to Turn That Low CSAT Around
Everyone wants happy customers. And it’s no secret that having an engaged, satisfied workforce is an “absolute” if you want to knock customer service out of the park. If you start to see your CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores lag, you most often can trace that back to an employee or team that is struggling. Whatever the reason—short-handed, bad culture fit, skills misalignment—employee unrest has a significant impact on your customers. To avoid that type of customer/employee train wreck, businesses must invest in their culture and keep employees challenged, engaged, and working as a team toward your company’s purpose—which for MSPs is simple: service.
What’s the secret to employee engagement?
We all know unhappy people don’t deliver their best in the workplace, but changing work culture to raise that happiness quotient—and retain your talent—is challenging. What we’ve discovered is a simple equation for success—engage, encourage, empower. These elements work together to create that perfect balance: performance management, collaboration, communication, and engagement activities.
To show each team member exactly what their role encompasses, how success is measured and where they fit in the organization, start with a goal-setting sheet built on SMART objectives. That document is supported by individualized scorecards for every team member that integrate across the business, top to bottom. Tie all these elements together with performance reviews—monthly, quarterly, and annually.
Research has shown that employees do best when they understand how their role contributes to the overall goals of the business. Yet, many business leaders struggle to communicate that sense of purpose—and to recognize and reward those employees who show a commitment to those over-arching goals. By aligning each individual’s scorecard with their department’s goals and also showing a clear connection to the scorecards of leadership and the company’s strategic plan, you’ll help every team member feel as if they have something to contribute. On the flip side, they will more clearly understand the impact lack of performance can have on the bigger picture.
Collaboration is Key
In the last year, nearly every business faced the challenge of collaboration as the entire world moved to work from home. Not only does the remote workplace create challenges around security and communication, but it can also make it hard for managers to catch subtle cues that an employee or team is off track or frustrated. Being transparent and asking direct questions about workload, remote work challenges, and how the employee sees his or her contribution to the bigger picture business goals is a must-do in today’s new distributed workplace environment.
Try to create an open forum within your business where teams can discuss challenges and issues together—and regularly. That opportunity helps employees see problems as something to solve together as a team rather than an overwhelming individual task. The goal is to build a sense of accountability across the team when it comes to problem-solving.
CSATs, ESATs, NPS—Oh my!
In nearly any relationship, communication is the key to success. Companies often focus solely on informing their customers about their business and forget to keep their own employees in the loop. A couple of suggestions:
- Virtual town halls have become a staple of pandemic reality. With a distributed workforce, finding time at least each week to have the team gather virtually—cameras on—to discuss high points, challenges, kudos, change management and strategy is important.
- Be transparent. There is a sense of security that comes with knowing that leadership is being honest and open—even if the news is troubling. Companies that thrived during the pandemic did so by sharing the burden—stress, worries, hard decisions—and celebrating wins as a team as well.
- Speaking of wins, create an employee newsletter full of celebrations, updates, big successes, and announcements about everything from changes in the office to new partnerships. Keep it short and deliver it consistently to drive engagement.
Also, while customer satisfaction and NPS surveys are essential for gathering feedback from your clientele, don’t overlook internal opinions. Quarterly employee satisfaction surveys help provide a true indicator of how your team feels about their work and the organization.
As part of those surveys, ask your customers about your employees and vice versa. Just as an unhappy employee can bring down an entire customer relationship, a difficult or bullying customer can drive good employees out of your company. Be sure to provide ample opportunity for input and follow-up if you start to see patterns emerging—on both sides.
By discussing the both the positives and the challenges openly in daily morning huddles, weekly team meetings, quarterly strategy sessions, and an annual vision-building gathering, your team will feel invested, involved, and engaged. Suggestions and feedback will come more easily when employees feel empowered by that knowledge that their ideas are valued.
This may be the easiest step for your organization to take, and it’s a great starting point. Involve your entire team in a brainstorming session about how to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Create a “Wall of WOW” highlighting team member success. Plan a Go-Givers activity in your community, providing the opportunity for your team to engage with each other and enjoy contributing to the places you work and live. Create entertaining videos that stand alone, or to highlight any of the above.
During the pandemic, our IT By Design team made fun videos about working from home, balancing work life with family life, and more. That glimpse into each other’s lives—and the opportunity to “share the pain”—kept employees engaged with their work community even when everyone was isolated in home offices. Videos should be all about fun—perhaps have a contest between departments or offices to help drive collaboration—and don’t worry about quality. It’s all about teamwork and engagement. (Pro tip: Not only are videos entertaining to create, but they are also wonderful tools for recruiting.)
Nearly everyone agrees that keeping good employees is far easier than finding and attracting new talent. But beyond that, the value of engaged employees connects directly to your company’s bottom line—making it an essential investment for your MSP. Happy employees equal happy customers—that’s the simple bottom line.