Yesterday, just for fun, I did an internet search for “happiness in the workplace.” There were nearly 10 million results, and two million of them featured “happiness in the workplace statistics.” The stats keep rolling in, telling us that for sure, happiness and positivity at work pave a path to customer loyalty and profitability. I truly hope you are incorporating happiness in your businesses strategy – the sooner the better!
The emotion of happiness is entwined with another profit-generating emotion: LOVE. Tomorrow being February 1 there has been, of course, a lot of retail fanfare heralding Valentine’s Day. The marketing is working, because every place I go I’m thinking about love!
And when you think about it, what is customer loyalty if not customer LOVE? After all, what is it you’d like your customers to be saying about your business when they talk to friends and colleagues? You want them saying the same things you say about your favorite businesses:
“I love that restaurant… Just love my car dealer… I’m sticking with my insurance company-it’s one of a kind… No matter how my hairdresser cuts my hair, I always love the way she does it… Gotta love my mechanic!… Don’t you just love their coffee?”
Such declarations of love for businesses are more than words: Neuroscientists studying consumer behavior have discovered that when you see the logo of a company you “love,” the area in the brain that lights up is the very same place it lights up when you are thinking about a person you love. Loyalty is an actual emotional attachment that causes blood to flow to the emotional centers of the brain!
So when you’re thinking about creating positive customer experiences and happy, loyal customers, you want to think, “How do I create the emotional connections that exceed (and maybe even anticipate) the customers’ deepest needs for things like security, appreciation, acknowledgement, confidence and care,” to mention only a few. In other words, “What’s going to make customers love doing business with us?”
The answer to that question begins with happy and engaged employees (happy employees are 31% more productive!) who go above and beyond for customers, who “romance them” to make ’em happy and loyal! And the starting point for this skill is YOU, because it’s your job to consciously create an environment where employees feel good about themselves in your presence.
Two weeks ago I gave you three steps for creating a strong foundation for employee engagement and customer loyalty. Today I’m sharing five “make the most of every moment” tips that you can put into action anytime, and should do as often as possible. These actions are high-yield investments in your employees’ “emotional bank accounts,” the resources employees draw from to provide exquisite customer service.
1. Whenever possible, “Manage by walking around” to tell team members what they are doing right. “I love the way you handled that difficult customer!… I appreciate the way you completed your monthly report right on time… I feel so great when I see firsthand the great job you all do – bravo!”
2. Set the tone for each week on Mondays. Remind employees how important they are to the company mission. Set up clear goals, and motivate them to pursue those goals! Remember that what you focus on expands. (And you might want to increase their ability to get and stay motivated by signing them up for my Monday Morning Motivation).
3. Create a “Happy Hour” every Friday. No drinks required! What is required is asking employees to share, briefly, the efforts and accomplishments they are most happy about or proud of that occurred during the work week.
4. Ask, engage and involve employees. Ask them what makes them loyal. What makes them fall in love with a company, a product or a website. Ask them, “How can we create a company people can fall in love with?” How can we create remarkable experiences that customers will come back for and tell their friends about?” Listen carefully and put some of their suggestions into practice.
5. Strive for a Positivity to Negativity Ratio of 5:1 – Deliver five messages of acknowledgement, praise, encouragement, affirmation, recognition, assurance, congratulations, and other positive reinforcements for every one remark fueled by criticism, sarcasm, shame, cynicism and other negative stuff. High performance teams do this, and so can you! It takes practice.
And here’s a unique opportunity to get everyone thinking “Happiness” immediately:
Sign up TODAY to host a screening of The Happy Movie (the registration deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1) or travel to a venue where the movie is playing. Then we’ll all watch The Happy Movie “together” on World Happiness Day on Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Whatever you do, keep your efforts sincere, simple and consistent. You want to make progress – and there is no standard of “perfection” here. There are just some businesses that are great places to work and to do business with – businesses people love, and businesses that aren’t great and don’t have customers who connect with them emotionally. Which one do you want to be?