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Cultivating Positive Relationships Customer Service Opinion

YMCA of the Rockies: Happy employees=great customer service

Just stayed again at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO. Once again, the accommodations were superb. Customer service was even better. Evidently, the Great Resignation either hasn’t hit the facility hard, or the YMCA is handling it well.

I had a couple issues requiring a maintenance visit to our cabin—including a non-functioning barbecue grill. After determining it wasn’t going to work, maintenance brought us a wonderful tabletop Weber electric grill. I was so enamored of it that I bought one for myself as an early birthday present.

Ostensibly, YMCA of the Rockies employees overall seem happy according to Indeed. The cumulative Indeed rating was 4.0 (out of five stars). Strengths cited : “Feeling of personal appreciation…time and location flexibility…clear sense of purpose.”

While Glassdoor’s 3.5 rating likely reflects that the YMCA isn’t immune from Great Resignation-oriented dissatisfaction, customer reviews verify that—outwardly at least—employees are making customer service a top priority no matter what else they’re thinking.

Google customer reviews from 272 people provide an overall 4.3 out of 5 rating. Trip Advisor’s 1,126 reviews show an overall excellent 4.5 rating. Booking.com supplies an overall 8.5 score on a 1-10 scale based on 393 reviews. Facebook came back with 4.6 on a 5 point scale based on 1,623 evaluations. Yelp’s 110 reviews produced a solid 4 out of 5 score.

HCAmag.com, addressing Human Resource directors, points out in an article: “…employees who are more invested in the organization have a higher productivity rate than their counterparts. And it goes without saying that having productive, engaged employees can lead to greater loyalty, better retention rates, and enhanced customer experiences.”

Recently, Amazon has aired TV commercials extolling workplace hours and benefits flexibility, likely as a way to counter some of the Great Resignation. HCAmag.com cites two critical areas to address in this regard: “Recognize and reward employees…Effective employee recognition can help boost the morale of employees. When employees know that the company appreciates them and their efforts, they are more likely to trust and gain more motivation in performing beyond what is expected of them…Remember that rewards do not work for everyone. Make sure to understand how employees respond to recognition and rewards and adjust methods to fit their preferences.”

The article continues: “Provide flexibility to employees…Another way to promote employee engagement is by offering flexible work schedules and other remote work opportunities. This helps employees create a good work-life balance by allowing them to  work comfortably in their chosen location and time. Providing employees with the option to adjust working hours for personal errands and other appointments helps them feel cared for by their employers.”

A recent CNBC report entitled, “These 10 companies have the happiest employees—here’s why” provides some modeling for companies to follow in an effort to counter the Great Resignation. The report addresses Adobe holding the top spot: “What stands out about Adobe’s reviews…is the positive feedback from multiple departments, including product, marketing, design, sales and engineering employees who rate the company highly across factors that indicate a rewarding culture and supportive environment…Gloria Chen, Adobe’s chief people officer, says the company measured employee sentiment throughout the pandemic through surveys, company all-hands meetings and focus groups to better understand the challenges of working through Covid, and propose solutions to meet changing needs.”

The report adds, “In response to feedback, the company introduced monthly companywide days off; 20 new paid days off each year for employees ‘directly impacted by significant events like pandemics or natural disasters;’ flexible work schedules to accommodate caregiving responsibilities; and an increase of its wellness reimbursement to $600 per year. The company has prioritized building community and staying connected while apart, Chen says, such as through a biweekly ‘coffee break’ series and its annual diversity and inclusion event. ‘We’re fortunate to have genuine employees who are invested in our culture and community, and many of our best initiatives are those that are driven by employees themselves,’ Chen says.”

While the concept is simple—treating employees well equals happy employees equals better customer service—execution obviously isn’t. Companies need to start treating their employees like gold, and employees must manage their entitlement expectations to be realistic in a very challenged world.

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How will the “Great Resignation” impact customer service? With so many people quitting present jobs and searching for new opportunities (including changing industries and entrepreneurism), existing company resources are being stressed and strained. Moving forward, this will adversely impact the ability of companies to maintain and/or improve customer service levels and commitments.

Mark Lusky

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