The Link between Soft Skills, Customer Satisfaction and Productivity

soft-skills

Most people link productivity with businesses, especially when assessing how well employees are performing, however, there are many different facets that can be looked at in relation to productivity.

To the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council, national productivity is a whole made up of all of the interrelated aspects of productivity which can be found within a society. Productivity in the workplace is highly important, as it is through productive companies that competitive nations are born. In essence, in understanding the relationship between the two you can see why it is essential that everyone within the nation’s workforce plays their part in raising national productivity.

 But as a worker, how does one go about raising productivity? There are actually many ways that this can be done. From improving on time managements skills, to focusing on quality of products and services, the list is endless. However, one of the easiest set of practices that one can implement as an employee to help raise productivity is to simply improve on customer satisfaction.  

Customer satisfaction is a must for any business that wants to be successful, simply because it guarantees customer loyalty and from a business standpoint a loyal customer is reliable investor.  Companies that are able to retain reliable investors are on the road to doing well.  In time, as the company’s profit increases, workers will be privy to the benefits of the company’s growth.

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds once stated,’ If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you are doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours’.  Judging by the international success of McDonalds, one has to believe that he knew what he was talking about.

So how can an employee deliver customer satisfaction to their customers?  Well, there are four basic factors that every employee should embody to help them do so. These traits are:

  • Skills
  • Courtesy
  • Efficiency
  • Pride

Skills-

Every employee should be skilled in their area of work. Skills determine an employee’s role within a company and help them carry out their set tasks well.   Employees should take advantage of any training opportunities that are available to them. If there are none available, employees should be made comfortable enough within their working environment to suggest to their employers that training would be an asset in addressing customer satisfaction within the establishment. Individuals should also read up on their chosen vocation as it could aid in improving their work performance.

 Courtesy-

Courtesy should not just be saved for the work place; it should be an outward expression of politeness that people use daily in their lives. It should always be sincere and heartfelt, even at work. Saying ‘Thank You’ and smiling are a couple of ways that employees can treat customers in a courteous manner, but there are also other ways in which this can be done.

They include:

Putting the Customer First

The customer, regardless of who they are, should always come first.  Therefore, any work carried out must always be acceptable to the customer. In doing so, the customer is always made happy. In addition, by making the customer happy, the employee also feels a sense of achievement.

Finding Out What They Want

Not all customers will be the same. Whilst many may know exactly what they want and be able to express this, there will be those who are a little less sure. For customers who do not say what they want, a good employee would observe their behaviour and consider their feelings and try to figure out their actual needs.

Putting Ourselves in the Shoes of the Customer

We all would like to be treated in a certain way and this is something that all employees should keep in mind when serving a customer. Whilst interacting with customers, employees should consider what kind of product or service that they would like to receive if they were the client. Then they should make sure that what is delivered to the customer is of the same high standard.

Establishing a Rapport with Customers

Employees should always try to remember their clientele.  Not just their faces but also their likes, their dislikes and their preferences. In doing so, a personal touch is added to the service.   

Not Practicing Preferential Treatment

All customers should be treated the same. From those who spend a lot within the establishment to those who spend a little.  From friends of the family, to complete strangers. Each customer contributes to the survival of the company.  With this in mind, all customers should be treated with the same courtesies.

Being Flexible and Adopting a Problem-Solving Approach

When solving any issues that come up with customers it is always best to adopt a problem solving approach. It is unwise to stick too rigidly to rules and refuse to be a little flexible to customers. Remember, through discussions, it is possible to come up with solutions to customers’ problems.

 Efficiency

Everyone has their own deadlines to meet. An employee stalling and taking unwarranted time on a project can put everyone else off schedule. Thus everyone should always strive to produce their output on time.  In doing so progress is not hampered, including that of your customers

In being efficient and delivering the product in a timely matter, each employee must also make sure that they hand over the final product to the customer with zero defects. Even the smallest error can spoil a company’s image.

 Pride

All employees have the right to be proud of the work that they carry out. Thus, employees should always carry out their work well. Not simply because it is what is expected of them but also because they enjoy doing what they do and take some pride in it. Taking ownership of work in this way makes an individual strive to improve their skills and knowledge. In so doing, there is the constant motivation to improve, be more efficient and practise courtesy without thought and effort on a daily basis.

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