How Employees Affect Consumer Behavior
I am going to discuss how employees affect consumer behavior and what I
believe are the best ways to improve their effectiveness. I will be drawing
upon my experiences as a consumer and working in a retail environment.
No one fulfills your corporate philosophy or promotes your products and
services more than your employees. They are like ambassadors representing the
United States when the president can not be there in person. You need them to
act on your behalf when dealing with customers. If the customers aren't treated
well once in your store or business, what good does it do to use marketing to
get them into your store or business. You also have the problem of each
customer who was treated poorly, telling other people about their bad experience
with your company. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is and it's even
worse when people are telling others how great your competitor treated them.
I've had a few experiences where I have felt that I haven't been treated
properly or fairly by store employees. Most of the time I've been able to find
another person to help solve my problem and I was able to walk away a satisfied
customer. There are some instances when I have consciously went to a competing
business, because of the way I was treated. I know I am not the only person who
does this, so I feel it is very important to have a work force that helps market
your products, by being friendly and knowledgeable. This will prevent customers
from turning away from your products and services. Ask your workers if they
would recommend your product or service to their family and friends. If your
people lack confidence in your company, you need to find out why and fix it.
You want them to be proud to use your product or service so they can convey this
feeling to the customers.
Some of the things that turn off consumers are long lines and employees
who don't pay attention or just go through the motions. Rudeness, impatience,
and judgmental remarks are very damaging to your company image. Workers who are
poorly trained or don't know about your product or service serve no purpose and
let down customers. Lies, dishonesty, and promises that are broken cost
companies a lot of business when you look at the long run. Ask your workers if
they would recommend your product or service to their family and friends. If
your people lack confidence in your company, you need to find out why and fix it.
The first thing you need to do is let your employees know what you
expect of them, how much individual judgement they can use, and what the rewards
will be. Giving employees some flexibility in handling problems lets them know
that you trust them. Employees should know your companies products or services,
the company philosophy, and your industry. Make it clear to your employees how
important customer service is to everyone's future.
Make sure that your employees have been trained properly and have all
the resources they need to do their jobs. Include them in decision making and
explain company policies. Assure them that the will be backed, when a quick
response was needed to satisfy a customer. Explain to them the basics of social
interaction, like smiling and eye contact. Most importantly be a good example.
Have your best worker train the others in your organization and offer
additional training and development. Seek out opinions and ideas and let them
feel needed. You need to reward employees for their great service. If their
behavior isn't supported and rewarded they will never change. Give them
handwritten thank-yous and acknowledge them publicly when possible. When all
else fails offer monetary bonuses. The concept of employees as marketers is a
rather new one, but it is very import if you want to have a successful business.
Source: Personal Experience