I caught up with Don Hales, founder of the Customer Service Training Network, author and speaker on all things customer service, whilst at the Stop Doing Dumb Things unconference.

He said that customer engagement and employee engagement and the interaction between the two continue to be big issues for employers. He also said that leadership and how you get great engagement were big challenges.

He suggested three steps to building great engagement:

  1. Start at the top. The leadership and senior managers need to be committed to their customers and the people who support them (the staff)
  2. Happy staff = happycustomers. It is critical that businesses value their staff or else they will not generate happy customers
  3. Make sure you recruit staff for attitude and train for aptitude.

I put it to Don that businesses are all to aware of these factors for building success, so why is it they are so difficult to put in to practice?

He said that every conference he speaks at he asks the audience how good they think customer service is in the UK and how important it is. The answer is always the same: it is important but we aren’t that good at it.

He said that companies are too frightened to improve things. They are scared staff will go elsewhere if they invest in then too much.

But he added that there are plenty of companies that are providing great customer service. He said that it was a great act of faith for companies to commit to doing customer engagement well. watch the video . . .