I came across a great article Extraordinary Brands, Extraordinary Leaders, Extraordinary Frontline Behaviors, by a man named Alessandro Donetti, the Managing Partner of CBE, a consulting company. Mr. Donetti talks about the difference it makes to customers to deal with service people who are excited about their work and their words “jump out of their hearts rather than being regurgitated from a script.”
He continues, “In a world of product parity and increasing consumer demands, the brands that will rise to the top and stay there will be those who find a way to leverage their most powerful and differentiating asset – their people.”
Those of you who follow this blog will realize that Mr. Donetti’s ideas are familiar to you as this is a topic near and dear to my heart and for good reasons. CBE’s research has shown that approximately 85% of customers’ decisions are based on positive interaction with the people who are taking care of them. It’s what leads to brand loyalty.
Here is the part that really caught my eye: Mr. Donetti goes on to say that in order for the people in your company to speak from their hearts the example has to come from their leaders. Mr. Donetti says that he often asks senior leaders, “Do you think it’s important to engage the heart of your people?” He goes on to say that the answers are almost always, “Yes, tremendously important.” So he asks these leaders another question, “What have you done in the last 10 days to engage the hearts of your people?” He says that, this question often leads to an uncomfortable silence.
It’s interesting that many leaders are less comfortable with the emotional side of engaging their people and many have never really learned how. I have come across this often in my own work with businesses. There are times I’ve had to remind owners to tell their staff that they are doing a good job or, in the case of some absentee owners, to remind them to say hello to everyone on staff when they are on property. A quick hello or positive comment about a job well done goes a long, long way.
So here’s my question for you: Are you engaging with your staff from your heart, so your employees will engage with customers from their hearts?
This is step one and I’ll have more from Mr. Donetti next week on Engaging the Mind and Continuous Engagement.
A tip of the glass from me to you!