What is your team doing when they aren’t “customer-facing?” Hint, it influences the customer experience too.
There is a fancy grocery in Ann Arbor where I sometimes shop (and that will go unnamed). Generally, the folks here are friendly at the cash registers and at the cases where I order seafood, meat, or prepared food. Yet, I’ve noticed that the staff at this grocery are in a hurry when they’re in the aisles. When I’m shopping with a cart, I’ve had to “pull over” and wait for staff hurrying by to pass me.
When this happens, I wonder what’s so important in the back room—a smoke break, the punch clock, or an angry manager? I imagine that the store’s leadership has stressed quickness or efficiency over courtesy (a customer experience failure). In my head I rewrite my shopping list to frequent other stores.
There is another “fancy” place in town – Zingerman’s. I visited a friend at the Zingerman’s Bakeshop recently, and he walked me around behind-the-scenes. Everywhere we went in the facility, people stopped what they were doing (at their computers, wheeling a hand truck through a loading area…) and greeted me. I’m sure they had as much to do as the staff at the other location, yet they weren’t in a rush, seemed genuinely glad to meet me, and meeting each of them was a pleasure.
Zingerman’s has published their mission and guiding principles. They emphasize two relevant phrases in their mission:
“giving service that makes you smile” and
“showing love and care in all our actions.”
Through stopping to greet me, the Zingerman’s team exemplified courtesy and the mission of the company. While I didn’t yearn for a chat with the team at the other store, I would prefer not to feel “in their way.” I don’t shop there as often as I might, and I don’t want to work there.
So the question becomes—what values do you promote in your organization? Values and intention matter whether it is a knitting group, a writing circle, a start-up, or an established business.
What experience do you want newbies, visitors, new team members, and the old guard to experience? Because it is those values that shape the behavior of your team and the experience of your customers.