Normal (Customer) Service is resumed.
Is it back to business as usual this week?
Whether you’re drawing breath at the end of your busiest season, or just back from your well-earned summer break it’s all too easy to drift back into things without much focus or purpose.
Which inevitably has an impact on employee engagement, productivity and customer service.
If you’ve been flat out all summer now’s the time to take stock and review, whilst things are still fresh in your mind. What went well, what didn’t go so well and what can you learn from it?
Here are 7 ideas to re-energise and engage you and your team to get you back into the swing of things and on a roll now it’s business as usual.
If your team were working hard right over the summer let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.
If September marks the mid-point of financial year now is an opportune moment to review progress.
Summarise and share your successes and highlights from the last 6 months, and recognise your team’s contribution to these.
Give recognition and praise where it’s due so it creates a buzz amongst your team for the remainder of year ahead!
2. Near misses
It’s inevitable there were occasions when things didn’t go according to plan or mishaps happened. Review some of the things that have not gone to plan over the past few months. Listen to your team and flush out any other potential risky situations, particularly if they have the potential to impact the team or customer service.
Rather than dwelling on the negatives, reflect on what you and the team have learnt from these events.
Even if you think it was a one off and unlikely to happen again your team might be aware of other ‘near misses’ or situations that are an accident just waiting to happen!
Agree what steps you can take to avoid them or minimise their impact, so they are confident they will be better prepared next time!
3. Set mini goals
It can often feel as if you’re not achieving much in the first few days or weeks back at work, or when you’re recovering from a busy period.
What short-term projects or goals can you set which eases everyone in gently, but still enables them to see some results within the first few days back.
This can help focus attention back onto the job in hand, and get everyone back into full flow as quickly as possible.
4. Take stock
A knowledgeable team not only gives them confidence, it enables them to make decisions and help build trust with your customers.
Take time to review and share your plans for the remainder of the year ahead, share up-to-date product information, what’s happening in your industry, with your competitors, or anything in the press.
It can feel a bit flat if it’s back to business as normal; give your team something to look forward to.
5. New challenges
The new school year is a good time to take stock of the team’s development needs.
Not everyone wants to progress, but that doesn’t mean you should let them stagnate. A bored employee is unlikely to put much enthusiasm into delivering wow customer service.
Schedule 1:1 reviews as early as possible. Discuss individual contributions and where they fit in with your plans, and how you can add variety, set new challenges or stretch them.
Identify and utilise people’s strengths, providing further development where needed to bring out the best in these areas.
6. Fresh perspectives
Customer Service is continually evolving, and there will always be little tweaks you can make to improve your service.
Review your entire customer journey and all the various touch points your customers experience.
When people have been away from the business for a couple of weeks, or even a few days, they often get a fresh perspective and see things in a new light.
What ideas have your team seen on their holidays or days out which they’ve appreciated and which could be applied in some way in your business?
Take a few moments this week to ask their views on any opportunities they can see to improve your service, to add value or make recommendations to customers.
Give individual team members responsibility over specific moments on the customer journey; this gives a sense of pride and ownership. And with ownership comes the desire to get things right. When individuals have one or two areas to focus on specifically it encourages them to go deeper and develop their expertise.
7. Play from a 10
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, which if we think it’s going to be tough getting back into the swing of things the chances are it will be.
Not just for you, but for your team as well.
It only takes one person resent being back to work after a fantastic holiday or quality time with the kids, to rub off on everyone else. If we’re smiling and happy, confident, enthusiastic and energetic it might not always rub off on everyone else, but it’s a better bet than if you’re down and resenting being back at work!
So whether you’ve just had break and gearing up for the new term, or just taking stock of your summer season, don’t let anyone’s post-holiday blues get you down.
If you only do one thing – take some time out this week to sit down with your team and reflect what lessons you can take from the past 3 months which can help you get the best from the next 3 months.
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