The One Skill All Successful Employees Have

We live in a reputation economy. What your customer experiences directly with your staff - good or bad - not only impacts your bottom line but also your online reputation. “Customers today have a louder voice (think Yelp and other rating sites), have access to more information on you and your competitors, and as a result expect an increasingly awesome experience. And they should,” says Christine Comaford.

Your organization profits and your reputation is enhanced when your clients benefit from a seamless customer service experience aligned to your brand:

  • They perceive added value from your products and services

  • They are more likely to make repeat purchases when cross-selling recommendations are well chosen

  • They continue to do business with you when their issues are identified and addressed with understanding and professionalism

A seamless 360 experience also means a management team that communicates to your customers a compelling, persuasive story on how your brand builds on their success.

If your customer experience doesn't reflect your brand promise, you are missing an opportunity to create loyalty and sales. So often the pressure of budget constraints means that precious resources are allocated to generating new business, developing new products, and promoting bells and whistles (all worthy pursuits, of course) – but if all this is at the expense of adequately supporting your core business, courting existing customers, and supporting your employees, it’s time for a strategy overhaul.

You may think that streamlining your processes is expensive. But how much is lost business costing you?

The one thing you need most can be taught.

The number one employee skill that has the greatest impact on your business is active listening.

What is active listening?

According to Janice Tinghum, listening is key to effective working relationships among employees and between management and staff. Listening skills also impact a company’s interaction with customers and other businesses. Listening is essential to building trust. 

Active listening is not a passive activity at all. Active listening is an active process in which a conscious decision is made to listen to and understand the messages of the speaker. Active listening is just as much about empathy as it is about technical knowledge needed to resolve the issue.

Empathy is tied to financial performance

Studies show that “CEOs overwhelmingly link their company’s financial performance to empathy in the workplace, writes Karen Higganbotham. “An empathy index published in Harvard Business Review found that the 10 most empathetic companies increased in value more than twice as much as those at the bottom of the index and they generated 50% more earnings defined by market capitalization, from one year to the next. Empathy also has an impact on retention. Ninety percent of employees are more likely to stay with an organization that empathizes with their needs.”

From the frontline to fulfillment, all the way up to managers and C-suite, empathy and understanding matters - and that means not only demonstrating active listening with clients, but also with each other. A brand promise is 360. Without internal and external continuity, you are bypassing opportunity that can set your organization apart.

In order to enhance your customer experience and increase your revenue opportunities, invest in company learning that addresses technical skills, attitude self-management, and overall employee engagement all at once.

For more information, contact Desander Mas, President of SMLR, Inc.

Desander Mas