Employees’ Role in the Customer Experience

by Rocco De Lorenzo

The success of any business depends on the level of service employees provide to customers. Unfortunately, in today’s competitive business world, having just an excellent product or service simply is not enough anymore. Businesses must be exceeding customer expectations by empowering employees to go beyond ordinary service and provide something truly exceptional. They must be creating an “experience” for customers. For this to happen, employees must understand the “purpose” of their job.

There are three important aspects to an employee’s job. The first is the reason they go to work. This is what motivates them to get up in the morning, shower, dress and drive to work. Their motivation may include supporting their family, making a living, paying bills, going on vacation, and saving for retirement. The reason is employee-focused.

The second involves an employee’s duties and responsibilities once they clock in. This is company-focused. It involves the operational details of their jobs, which covers mostly policies and procedures. Employees learn what to do, how to do it, where to do it and when to do it in their position. It is consistent with the employee’s job title and description.

The third aspect of an employee’s job, and often overlooked, is their purpose once at their job. In other words, why are they there? This is customer-focused and follows an organization’s customer service vision. This is a statement that clearly defines the type of customer service an organization expects its employees to provide. It sets the bar when it comes to the level of service an organization wants their employees to provide customers.

What then is the “purpose” of every employee? To provide each customer with a memorable and positive experience. This is achieved through personable, quality interactions. It requires the employee to have a service mentality where they put the needs of the customer first and show that they are genuinely interested in providing a service to them.

Employees who create a customer experience turn daily routine transactions into meaningful, memorable interactions. This can only be accomplished by going beyond a job title and description. For example, a front-desk person does more than just check in guests. A bartender does more than just serve drinks. A casino dealer does more than just deal cards. It is the experience they create while doing their job that will have the greatest impact on the customers. There should be a connection that each customer experiences from the moment they walk in until they finish with their business.

When a customer walks out the door of a business, an experience was created for them. And whether it was fantastic, over-the-top amazing, or lousy, people will want to share their experience with others. The question is, what does that company want a customer to think, feel, and say about that experience? Remember a time when you had either an amazing experience or an extremely poor one. Did you share it with anyone?

Employees need to understand the purpose of their positions and the critical roles they have in creating the customer experience and building customer loyalty. When there is a lack of quality interaction between employees and customers, the price of a product or service then becomes the only motivator for customers. Any business that depends entirely on a product or service to build a loyal customer base must reconsider their strategy. Companies get the customers through the doors, but it is the employees who will keep them coming back time after time.

Howard Schultz, past CEO of Starbucks, put it into perspective when he said, “We are not in the coffee business serving people, but in the people business serving coffee.” When employees put customers at the forefront of the business, they create an exceptional experience for them.

Whether it is in the hospitality industry or another industry where there is the opportunity to provide a service to a customer, it is the experience the customer leaves with that will determine if they do business with that company again in the future. The greater the experience an organization creates for customers, the greater the chance they will become loyal customers.

How does a business know if their employees understand the purpose of their job? It is simple – just ask them.

Rocco De Lorenzo has worked in the casino industry for 25 years. He can be reached by calling (702) 575-8433 or email [email protected].