Improve customer service by making work fun!
Research suggests that staff who have fun at work may provide better customer service (Karl & Peluchette, 2006; Owler and Morrison, 2012). Karl & Peluchette (2006) found that “satisfied employees believed that their organization provided customer service that was reliable, responsive, and empathetic, and that employees were knowledgeable and able to instill confidence in customers”.
Such results add support to other research which suggests a positive correlation between employee fun and customer satisfaction (e.g. Redman & Matthews, 2002). So, how can you help customer service staff have more fun at work?
8 ways to help customer service staff have more fun at work:
The following tips will help you support and promote fun at work for customer service staff:
1. Expect commitment and quality from staff
Most people want to do a good job, so work on the assumption that your staff are aiming to do their very best.
2. Value staff wellbeing
Take seriously computer health and safety, perhaps offer chair massage, provide extra support when staff work long hours, implement a fitness challenge.
3. Provide staff training and development
Include strategies that help your staff feel both satisfied and effective, when they deliver customer service.
4. Value extra-curricular fun events
Offer opportunities for non-work related socializing and provide opportunities for staff to create friendships.
5. Have some fun, work related events
Team meetings and planning days need not be dull. Create some fun with ice-breakers and team building events.
6. Affirm staff for a job well done
While pay incentives are often appreciated by staff, they are not essential. Other ways to affirm staff can include a simple heart felt thank-you, a certificate of service or achievement, a bunch of flowers or a voucher for a massage.
7. Communicate well with staff
Communicate to staff about decisions that will affect them, including why a decision has been made.
8. Cultivate an open door policy
Be available to staff to discuss work related matters and personal matters, that might impact on work.
9. Foster a culture of caring
Give out birthday cards, encourage staff to support each other if difficult things happen in their lives, foster and support suggestions from staff for activities such as shared lunches or extra-curricular events.
In Conclusion - Happy staff, Good customer service!
Staff have fun at work when they feel respected, listened to and supported in a holistic way. Try these fun at work tips and cultivate happy staff and better customer service!
Dr Kathryn Owler
Karl, K & Peluchette, J. (2006). How Does Workplace Fun Impact Employee Perceptions of Customer Service Quality? Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. 13(2): 2-13
Owler, K. & Morrison, R. 2012. ‘A Place to be me, A Place Belong: Defining Fun at work in a New Zealand Call-Centre’. New Zealand Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(1): 22-33.
Redman, T. & Matthews, B. (2002). ‘Managing Services: Should we be having Fun? The Service Industries Journal, 22(3): 51-53.
Tips, training and resources
Staff training: Training for staff can motivating and help staff know that you care. Joyworkz offer a range of workplace wellness seminars such as Effective Strategies to Enjoy Your Work that assist staff to be healthy and happy at work.
A wellness programme: This has the added advantage of providing a workplace with an array of team building activities that are known to contribute to employee motivation and loyalty. If you need help getting started, consider Joyworkz SimplyWell™ package, which takes the stress out of designing a workplace wellness programme.
Fun at work books: There are a range of good books available on promoting fun in the workplace. David Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes are well known authors. Dr Kathryn Owler, director of Joyworkz and local author, has also written Fun at Work: A journey of acceptance, joy and true meaning, a refreshing read for anyone seeking more fun at and enjoyment at work.
Visual prompts: Visual prompts in the workplace can be useful. For instance, the free Alsco Heart Health Poster encourages staff to have a good laugh at work.
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