When employees have the tools necessary to do their job they can be trusted and empowered and their motivation soars. When employees are respected and empowered (intrinsically motivated) they tend to stay. These outcomes start with excellent leadership skills.
Employees are internal customers of management. MAGIC provides management with the tools to treat employees like customers. Managers must model the behaviors they want and expect employees to model with their external customers.
MAGIC Helps Leaders Develop 3 Essential Skills
It is difficult to enjoy air travel anymore. Before Covid it was unpleasant. Now it is worse. What makes it even more unbearable is the quality of customer service skills we see at nearly every airport.
We can learn from these poor-quality skills. If we do the opposite, we can improve employee engagement and improve customer experience.
Let us do the opposite of these behaviors seen at the average airport. Let us not be:
- Uncommunicative on essential information
- Weak on personal accountability
- Indifferent to feelings
Being Uncommunicative on Essential Information
Have you ever experienced an unexpected delay on a flight? Imagine sitting at the gate and the expected boarding time passes and you neither see nor hear any communication about the change. You walk to the customer service desk and you ask for an update. You are then told there is a delay. This is reactive communication. It damages trust and therefore damages employee engagement and customer service. Proactive communication improves both. The airline employee was either unaware or purposefully delayed communicating the status of the flight departure. Either is unacceptable.
The MAGIC of Customer Relations and MAGIC Leadership helps leaders and staff to be proactive. Our process of “Getting to the Heart of the Matter” and “Inform and Clarify” enables any customer facing staff person to develop proactive habits of communication. Leaders need these skills to protect engagement and customer service staff need them to improve customer service skills.
Being Weak on Personal Accountability
On a recent trip my wife and I could not find our rental car company desk. It was moved because of Covid. We could not find a person to ask for directions. Wandering around for a bit we finally found it. When we complained to the rental car agent, he said, “Yeah, there is no sign, and they won’t put one up.” Airport employees rarely have the full authority to act to correct issues that impact customer experience. It is very frustrating when you cannot get an answer and you cannot find a person to take accountability.
The MAGIC of Customer Relations and MAGIC Leadership helps everyone to develop their accountability skills.
Being Indifferent to Feelings
Effective customer service skills and leadership skills must always include the ability to place ourselves into the “shoes” of the employees and/or customers.
Customer and employees get emotional every day. This is especially true at an airport. We have identified a few airport situations here. When employees or customers get upset, we can express empathy to demonstrate we understand and appreciate their situation and feelings (be “in their shoes”).
Empathy is the sincere expression that we understand the importance of an issue and we appreciate how the person must feel about the situation. Leaders always can express empathy with staff and staff can always express empathy with customers. The MAGIC of Customer Relations and MAGIC Leadership helps everyone to develop their empathy skills.
There are three simple behaviors leaders can do to avoid damaging employee engagement: use proactive communication, demonstrate accountability, express empathy when there is emotion.
These are essential skills leaders can exemplify and MAGIC can help. Why not give us a call?
Dr. Wally Hauck is a senior vice president and co-owner of Communico. He is the author of Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement, Stop the Leadership Malpractice: How to Replace the Typical Performance Appraisal, Unleash Employee Engagement: 7 Initial Conditions for Outstanding Results