This year, companies will dedicate more of their budget to train executives, managers and employees how to give customers amazing experiences and to deliver satisfaction with every encounter.

Senior managers are beginning to understand that excellent customer service begins with how they treat their employees: with dignity and respect.  Noted author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey, said it best: “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your customers”.

Consider these ideas for having happier employees AND customers:

* All levels of employees should know that you value their opinion and want to hear their ideas and solutions to problems— have a plan in place to listen to everyone and to act on what you hear.

* Be willing to admit when you are wrong and that you may not have all of the answers.

* Remain positive in the face of challenges and negativity.

* Show your employees that you are dedicated to their careers, to building an amazing customer service culture and to company growth.

* Make a deliberate choice to understand and implement work/balance.  Many senior level managers work 10+ hours a day and expect the same from their subordinates; however, having a balanced work and private life is critical if you expect employees to be proficient and have high morale—these elements are a direct link to making customers happy.

* Be vulnerable and lead with your heart; introduce a vision for a vibrant and exciting work environment.  Your subordinates will eagerly follow your leadership and will think of you as a role model.

The assumption is that you hired smart and talented employees.   Ask for employee feedback on projects/assignments and be prepared to act on what you hear.   Allow their creativity to boost productivity, increase the profit margin and help retain and get new customers.

Happy New Year!

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