Happy leaders make for happy customers

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Happy leaders make for happy customers

Great customer service starts with the way you relate to your employees. When you care for your workers, it reflects in the service they provide.

I experienced the power of this relation while working at a casino as a blackjack dealer. Each night, I was dealing cards to up to six players at once. I also had a supervisor at my back watching over the game.

I had to deliver the best customer service no matter what the mood was at the table. And the mood was swinging up and down for most of the time. When it comes to money, people tend to get emotional easily.

I enjoyed working with this particular supervisor, Frank. He would sidestep the standard procedure and let me do money-to-chips changes without calling him for approval to make our job easier. He trusted me. During the game he would whisper “Good job Anna” or “I’ve got your back with that client.” For most of the time he was calm, peaceful and attentive.

With him I felt safe and supported, but not watched. I could cope with emotional outbursts of the clients and calmly deal the cards. And I could deliver good service again and again.

While working with Frank, I noticed one simple rule regarding customer service: I was calm towards clients because he was calm towards me. In our work relationship, emotions played a big role.

Your emotions set the ground for your service

Various research in neuropsychology show that our emotions are infectious. One person’s mood literally changes the chemistry in the brains of others. Emotions spread from the person in charge outward. So when you’re in a leadership position, there is a great chance that the emotions will come from you.

When you get anxious, or simply angry, with your employee, you are weakening his or her ability to do a good job. And then the employee goes to the floor with weakened state of mind, interacts with customers and passes it on. In effect, you are creating your own problems.

When you appreciate your employees, you generate a positive mood which helps them to get better results. It feels good to be cared for and it’s great to hear a genuine: “You matter, you count, you are important.” With those words in mind, it’s easy to go out there and serve the clients.

Happy employees generate happy clients. Research has shown that employees can transfer their emotional state through emotions. Emotions are contagious like virus. Remember all those times when you saw a smiling face of a child and smiled back immediately? That was the emotional virus in action.

Employees with positive emotions positively influence customers. However, you need to watch out not to turn it into a procedure. The emotional influence is dependent on how much authentic an employee is during the interaction with a customer. If the employee is just acting, the emotional virus won’t work.

Make your team members truly happy and help them stay in that frame of mind. The easiest way to do that is by making yourself happy first. Taking care for your emotional well-being will set a good example and influence your team, as a result making their service better.

Applied happiness

This approach was successfully adopted by Southwest Airlines co-founder and former CEO Herb Kelleher. He made employees happy and secure by caring about them. This resulted in an exceptional level of provided customer service.

Only this year Southwest Airlines was recognized as one of the best places to work by Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards. And last year it was named number one in Customer Service (lowest consumer complaint rate) by the 2013 Airline Quality Ratings.

Tweets from customers picture that vividly:

By putting employees first, Herb Kelleher was able to bring empathy and care out of his employees. It resulted in great customer service.

Here’s what he used to say about his approach:

“If the employees come first, then they’re happy. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. It’s not one of the enduring Green mysteries of all time, it is just the way it works.”

Herb’s thought makes me more than sure that fine customer service begins with the boss-employee relationship. Caring, attentive and emotionally aware leader can bring the best out of his people. And then those people can go out there and spread the good vibe to the customers. If you are a boss, it all starts from you.

If you liked this post you might also be interested in Famous Leadership Quotes to Explain the Difference Bentween Boss and Leader

Photo by Daniel Boud ©. All rights reserved.

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