Co-created leadership and horizontal structure: hearing the employee’s voice
Acquire useful feedback about relations with clients and suppliers
Feedback is a very important process both for companies and for managers and employees. Employees can have direct interaction with clients, suppliers; managers can have a clear view of the relations that clients/suppliers have with the company’s employees and the companies can grow and become more successful, by maintaining their customers and suppliers satisfied.
Receiving feedback from customers and suppliers is a way to develop new ideas, to improve the existing ones, to remove those that their impact on the company is obviously negative and to improve the company’s relations with customers/suppliers.
How to engage the employees in the feedback process?
It is very important employees to be engaged in the feedback process. There are several ways to achieve this.
First, employees have to understand that maintaining good relations with the customers/suppliers through the feedback process has direct impact on them. Also, maintaining good relations should be their main purpose. For doing so, they can create their own KPI (Key Performance Indicator) list and follow it in every interaction with the customers/suppliers. That way, they can also detect the mistakes they may do and solve them on time.
Second, many customers/suppliers may express some ideas that they have, i.e. for the development/improvement of the product/service. Let the employees work on these ideas and make them come true.
Fixing their mistakes on their own is also a very important aspect, that may help them get engaged with the feedback process. It is a way to improve personally the relations with customers/suppliers and solve any misunderstandings that may occur.
Last, but not least, rewarding those employees who get positive feedback from customers/suppliers. This process will engage them a lot in their job position and will give them motivation for getting even better.
What feedback techniques exist (which engage the employees)?
- Live chat support;
- Regular call to customers/suppliers;
- E-mail surveys, in order to find/attract new customers/suppliers;
- Interaction with customers/suppliers through social media;
- Platforms, where customers/suppliers can express their ideas on development of new products/services or the improvement of the existing ones (i.e. Dell, Starbucks)
A department or a person in charge that handles the relations and the feedback from customers/suppliers is necessary. This means that people (employees & manager) with certain skills should be employed. These skills could be:
- Knowledge of the company and its products/services
- Ability to use positive language
Having direct relations with customers/suppliers, help employees working on this sector to develop some skills, like:
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
- Active listening skills
- Teamwork skills
- Problem-solving skills
Also, employees who directly communicate with customers/suppliers are getting more engaged to their job and the company.
Example(s) of prior application
Company name: COSMOTE
Location: Athens, Greece
Number of employees: 250+
How the WPI was implemented?
COSMOTE is a member of OTE Group which is the largest technology company in Greece. OTE Group offers the full range of telecommunications services: from fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband services, to pay television and integrated ICT solutions. The new pioneering service, COSMOTE UFixit, allows company’s specialized representatives to see along with the client, using video stream via the camera of their smartphone or tablet (Android/iOS), exactly what clients see. So, the employees can guide clients step-by-step for resolution and also to receive feedback for their services.
The general feedback of the costumers for this service is that the company cares about their clients. Customers who receive a positive experience are more likely to provide repeat business. As a result, great customer service translates into increased profits.