Employee Attrition - What Can YOU Do To Reduce It?

Employees usually come and go and at some point, you can expect to lose a few workers. The service sector is notorious for high employee turnover at 30% with the average for all industries standing at 13%. Millennials are also partly responsible for the increased employee turnover since they are more likely to switch jobs than their older counterparts. 

There are some costs attached to losing employees and an organization with high employee turnover can incur heavy losses including the time taken to find new workers. When the bounce rate for new hires gets too high, you cannot get a return on your investment especially when you factor in costs for training and recruitment. 

A high bounce rate for new employees is an indication of something wrong with your hiring process. Here are a few ways to reduce new hire bounce rate:


Formulate a Comprehensive and Competitive Benefits Package


One way to retain new employees is to compensate them handsomely. Apart from needing enough money to pay for living expenses like food, rent, and utilities, employees want to know they are compensated in other ways too. Moving to a better paying job is one of the major causes of employee turnover and paying well can prevent this. 

To get a feel for a fair salary, research on what competitors pay for similar jobs in your area e.g. how much do accountants make in your area. In addition to salaries, add some benefits like life insurance, disability insurance, 401K and pension plans to retain new hires. When dealing with millennials, keep in mind that they’ve witnessed the financial mistakes of their parents and are keen on additional benefits.

Hire the right person for the job


When interviewing new employees, make sure you hire the people who are most capable of doing the job. This way, you get a return on your investment. Do not hesitate to hire smart people or people with the ambition and potential to become stellar employees. 

Smart people are more flexible and their versatility will be of benefit. One major reason that people give for leaving a job is that it was not what they expected. To counter this, clearly, define the roles to the interviewee and ensure they are familiar with what will be done on the job. 

Another consideration for hiring is choosing someone who will fit with the company culture; that is if it’s important to you. Cohesion with other employees will encourage new employees to stick around and consequently reduce new hire bounce rate.

Reward employees and recognize their efforts


Employees are humans and will greatly appreciate if you recognize their efforts. When your workers go overboard and produce excellent work, complete a project well before the deadline or perform any other notable action, congratulate them. Doing this in front of colleagues is more effective as they will feel motivated by your acknowledgment. 

You don’t have to shower them with praise for everyday tasks, only for notable achievements. Another effective way to reward employees is to tie tangible, financial rewards to certain feats. Giving bonuses to high performing employees in front of the colleagues will encourage new employees to work towards the preset goals and reduce employee turnover. 

Additionally, you can create a career path for your employees so that they don’t feel like they landed in a dead-end job. Although it may seem obvious, most companies do not offer opportunities for growth like raises and promotions. When career advancement options look bleak and a new hire finds the other employees looking miserable and downtrodden, they won’t think twice about leaving for greener pastures.

Create a positive working environment


To create a positive work environment you have to factor in a good work/life balance. This involves flexible starting and ending times so that they have enough time for other activities. Many a new employee is put off by inflexible working hours and swaps jobs for more flexible hours. 

A study by a Boston organization concluded that 80% of workers and 76% of managers agree that flexible hours contribute to employee retention. Remember that workers spend close to half of their day at work and a positive environment will go a long way to increase engagement. 

Additionally, a conducive environment will improve the worker’s performance and boost productivity which works in the company’s favor. A good example of a superb work environment is Google, whose Googleplex building looks more like an adult playground than an office complex. Google also offers free food, health benefits, massages and haircuts, video games, gym and swimming pools to employees. Although this increases the running costs, it effectively cut down employee turnover and dissatisfaction.



Here’s Seven Great CX Blogs from the Month of August

Customer service blogs are a unique genre in the blog writing community. This is mainly because they’re the kind of non-fiction piece of literature that one can only write after extensive research and experience. Furthermore, they’re also quite helpful to those looking to improve their customer service as they offer great advice to all those who’re willing to listen as well as provide a voice for business owners to share their experiences in the community so that certain topics can be discussed.

For the month of August, we’re back with some great customer service blog posts written by talented individuals wishing to share their experience and knowledge with the rest of the world. As you will see throughout this entry, the topics under discussion are vast from mental health to the blame game that we often see in businesses where there’s- to quote the writer- an “I” in teamwork to advise on how to make customers talk about your business.

This month there’s an entire treasure chest full of great information on offer, so, without further ado, let’s begin to talk about the seven most impressive customer service blogs for the month of August.


1. Mental and Physical Well-Being In the Service Sector

The very first article that’s made our list comes from the CX Accelerator website itself, where writers Nate Brown and Jenny Dempsey talk about mental and physical health promotion in the service sector. In their article, they talk about how- by taking care of one’s employees, one can actually accelerate great customer service and increase efficiency in the workplace

Several suggestions for this are given through the course of the article. It starts off with simple tips that don’t really ask for drastic changes. Many leaders complain about a lot of investment (which they do not necessarily have) into well-being programs, but in this article, the writers have successfully mentioned the simplest and most effective methods of making sure that your customer service providers’ health is not compromised. 

This article definitely warrants a read. You can pick up any one of the many suggestions provided to ensure that the health of your staff is not neglected. As the two writers point out, there is a correlation between the health of your staff and their performance. So, don’t neglect it!

2. The Fault In Our “Staff”


On the opposite side of the spectrum, Steve Gioia, his blog post called But the Other Guy is Really at Fault, talks about common problems faced by teams in the service sector, particularly those in the hotel and restaurant businesses. 

Here he sheds light on the problems between the kitchen and the wait staff and how lack of understanding of ‘teamwork’ often leads to both sides not really accepting their responsibility. He gives an example of how a colleague of his received a bad service at a high end restaurant, thereby, establishing that no matter who’s fault it is, bad customer service and bad staff relations ultimately reflects badly upon the restaurant itself and customers don’t really care who’s fault it is- they’ll see it as a failure of the all the staff. 

This is an important lesson in customer service and reflects a side of customer service which we’ve often seen in restaurants, but don’t really comment on it and chalk it out as bad service. Gioia talks about how this badly affects the business. Give it a read, there are important lessons to learn from here.


3. Lessons From Amazon


In his article, writer Dan Gingiss presents the case for Amazon (and everyone else really) and how in today’s globalized world, you- as a business owner in the service sector- are actually in competition with Amazon and a lot of other online (and big) retailers. The reason behind this is investigated by the writer. 

He talks about how today’s market is very, very competitive compared to the “older days” where competition only extended towards local markets. Now, because of the advent of technology and social media, your competition is everyone, everywhere. Therefore, the importance of customer experience should not be underestimated. 

By taking note from big firms like Amazon and Netflix, we should try to improve upon our customer experience and really understand why a lot of people prefer these platforms and maybe take a leaf out of their books. After all, these corporations don’t simply exist because they’re great just like that- people prefer them over the others. So, what makes them so great? You’ll have to find out because, in today’s world, they’re your competition as well. No matter how big or small your business is.

4. Breaking Boundaries


This one’s a little different. In the article, writer and co-founder of CX Accelerator talks about surveys, their accessibility and how likely customers are to answer them in today’s time. He presents his case by highlighting that, contrary to popular belief, it might actually be more difficult to get customers to talk about their preferences through surveys. In fact, many industries are actually struggling with the lack of data available. But this is mostly because companies- not all but some and that’s still a significant amount- take the voice of the customer for granted, and probably still look to surveys to make a decision. 

Brown disagrees with this method as the only one in the business and suggests that there are other ways one can capture data. After all, customers haven’t gotten quiet in today’s world. There’s plenty of other ways they’re letting their voice be heard. Companies just have to tap into this oilfield of wealth in order to collect this valuable data, and maybe along the way, they’ll also end their dependence on surveys.


5. The Power of The Word of Mouth (150-200)


This one’s an interesting read in particular. Author Dan Gingiss once more finds himself on our list for his article. The reason behind this is simple: this article holds key advice for those looking to get their customers to do a bit of promotion for them. Of course, the main aim here is to get your customers to talk. 

Word of mouth is single-handedly one of the most powerful promotion platforms out there and it can also be used to your advantage. Of course, a lot of people struggle with it in their businesses- but you don’t have to be one of those people. In his article, Gingiss talks with various experts in the field and how they would do the job. There’s an abundance of advice from a number of people in a variety of different fields. Their tips aren’t very hard to pull off either. 

If you read through all of the advice given, you’ll notice it is the attention to detail the customer likes and they’ll recommend you for it. Customers want a personalized experience where they feel comfortable and at home- do this and they’re sure to talk about your business with their friends and colleagues. You can find more great advice from the article as well, so do check it out!

6. The ‘Peak-end’ Factor


This is a great read by Mary Drumond. The article, Understanding How The Peak-end Defines Customers’ Experiences the writer talks about the ‘peak-end rule’, a psychological heuristic developed by two professors called Kahneman and Tversky and is described as a phenomena where people remember a particular experience- it can be good or bad- based on how they felt at the ‘peak’ and the ‘end’ rather than judging the whole experience. 

This is an interesting phenomenon and Drumond has delved deeper into this phenomenon. She’s talked about how companies can use this to their advantage and thus, enhance customer experience. We can further look at it as a way of understanding the mindset of a customer and thus eliminate any cognitive bias or something along those lines and make them like your product. That, or you can simply research into this to just understand your customers better. 

After all, understanding the mindset of one’s customers is one of the most important pillars in customer service. 


7. A Study For Coffee Lovers Everywhere


And lastly, we end up with another Dan Gingiss article, and it’s quite literally a case study and look into a neighborhood coffee shop in New York and how it stands out in a world full of Starbucks. Gingiss uses this case study to show how this coffee shop is back to basics to attract new clientele. It’s not the “anti-Starbucks”, he lets us know that early in the blog post. But it’s good; it’s different. And sometimes that’s what customers want. 

He talks about his own experience with Birch Coffee and how we can use that as a lesson in customer service. This company doesn’t just serve ‘drinks’ like Starbucks has taken to doing. In fact, it’s really not just Starbucks- it’s a lot of coffee shops these days. Birch Coffee goes back to basics- we’re talking simple coffee. Nothing fancy. In fact, this is how they’ve advertised their business on their website as well. I think it’s a pretty good case study to look into, so do check it out!

Conclusion


There you have it- this month’s list of the best customer service blog posts on the Slack CX Accelerator community. These articles are truly great in the wealth of information that they provide us with. From tips to case studies to pointing out key factors that may change a company’s entire relationship with their customers, these blogs are for those who are all ears and want to improve their businesses. 

Read them and discover key information about the world of customer service and how you, a business owner, can benefit from the extensive and meticulous planning that goes into customer service to make it the face of your company and, in return, to make people come back to your business over and over again. We hope you found these articles hopeful!

Consumer Trust is at an All Time Low


In recent years, customer dynamics has become a very sensitive topic to brands and service providers in particular. The customers’ preferences and likes have slowly and gradually taken on greater importance as businesses work to provide and maintain an excellent customer experience.

With the increased number of brands in the market, the issue of customer loyalty is no longer the only factor to be considered for customer-oriented services. Today’s consumer has to worry about their data, how information is shared across sites and even the threat of cyber-attacks on a regular basis. In 2017, several massive breaches of personal data were observed after a series of cyber-attacks that saw many brands lose customer trust. The brands impacted ran the gamut from technology companies (Sony, Yahoo & Uber) to Home Renovation (Home Depot). 

More than two billion people were affected by different issues, and in addition to cyber-attacks, issues related to ransomware were prevalent. On the political front, it’s now been proven that foreign governments have influenced voters. Customer trust is very sensitive and when it comes to products and services, its something that companies need to keep in mind if they expect to maintain customer loyalty.

Poor Engagement by Employers as a Cause of Customer Distrust

Before any customer decides to purchase a product from a specific brand for the first time, they are always skeptical about the quality of the service and the product that will be provided. 

Customer trust is not usually an automatic switch that can be turned on when needed. Customer trust has to be nurtured and allowed to grow in order for customers to be fully comfortable transacting with a specific brand.
The level of employee engagement with customers usually determines how well the customer will trust the brand and the possibility of staying loyal to the brand. Most brands focus on providing quality services to customers and neglect the important aspect of engaging the customer in order to make them assured and comfortable during purchase. 

This engagement ensures rapport building which improves the relationship between the customer and the brand. With high customer engagement, brands provide customers with an enjoyable CX through customer support and assistance. 

With the development of technological methods of customer support like AI technology, brands can easily engage with customers directly and in so doing develop and maintain customer trust in the brand.

Customer Concerns over Personal Data

After the recent cyber-attacks in this and the previous year, customers have become very wary concerning the safety of their personal data when transacting with any brand. 

Recently, we observed Facebook facing lawsuits due to their inappropriate use of personal data to influence poll research that was unrelated to the customer expectations of the brand. Such incidences spiked the customers’ concern over how brands treat and utilize personal customer data. 


Most customers have now developed the preference of brands that are more customer-oriented and focused on responding to customer likes before using their personal data to determine the best solution for on-going problems. 

Privacy practices need to be maintained and regularly observed by any brand if they want to maintain customer trust. Today, customers are more knowledgeable about how their private information is used to improve customer service and in protecting their individual identity. If a brand breaches this set of privacy practices, then they are very likely to lose customer trust and eventually observe a drop in customer retention.

Personalization and Customer Trust

As customers interact with your support team, they are usually more responsive to an empathetic conversation versus one that only makes them feel like a statistic. 

For instance, simple interactions like addressing the client by name and not through a default system of salutations can greatly improve customer trust. A personalized experience on the customer’s side relays the impression that they are important to the company thus making them more likely to stick with the company. 

Brands can use customer data from previous interactions to improve personalized customer service and product promotion that will give the impression of a customer-based brand.

Everyone likes being treated like they matter and this often helps ensure that customers, respond better to personalized services. With an improved customer experience, the customer also increases the trust they have for the brand ensuring customer retention for the company.

Continue to Part 2