The Sunday Mail
Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba
“The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.”- Zig Ziglar
Judging by the overwhelming responses I received from readers of last week’s article, I realised that a lot of customers identify with the experiences I shared.
Almost every other reader who got in touch seems to have had a negative experience with small retailers.
These experiences emanated from the interactions that customers are having with the businesses’ employees.
From my research, I discovered that the major culprit is the employer.
If you remember, last week I mentioned that some business owners/employers hire unqualified or incompetent personnel to do the job.
They do it because they do not want to pay more for qualified and competent staff, but at whose cost?
It’s at their cost!
Yes, bad hiring costs organisations a lot in terms of customers.
When customers leave, revenue drop, and so does the brand equity and goodwill, even from the customers that remain behind.
Here are some of the ways organisations are losing out with bad hires:
1. Unfavourable Workplace Attitude
Staff that do not know how to do the job that they were hired for may exhibit the wrong attitude as a compensatory behaviour for their work skills shortcomings.
When one’s job description involves direct interaction with customers, there is absolutely no room for him or her to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Neither co-workers nor customers are patient enough to deal with staff that bring negative attitudes to work.
Representatives that do not know how to tame their attitudes at workplaces can hurt productivity, because they tend to rub off negative energy on their workmates, thereby reducing overall morale.
It is easy to tell if one has a bad attitude. For instance, they can throw inappropriate jokes or comments.
Some of them are bullies, with no respect for their co-workers or they are just negative people who have nothing positive coming out of their mouths.
Simply put, they suck the joy from the work environment. And when workers are not happy, they extend that negativity to customers.
2. Lack of Confidence
Besides having a bad attitude, unqualified or incompetent company representatives tend to lack confidence when interacting with customers.
This may result in them avoiding to attend to customer needs. This does not give a good image about the organisation.
A single negative experience by a customer with a company representative can affect the image of the whole organisation and its brand(s).
Customers will reference the incident by the organisation’s name and not by the individual employee who would have given the bad service.
Such points of referencing will make the brand lose not only current customers, but even potential customers with whom the affected customer might share their ordeal with the negative company representative.
3. Unnecessary Extra Work
When you employ unqualified personnel, chances are they will not do the job properly, and some of the tasks may have to be repeated.
Since they are not able to perform their duties, some may try to find excuses not to be at work.
If they are around, they will not complete their tasks on time and end up having their workmates do their jobs for them.
This means the co-workers will have an extra load, which they were not supposed to have.
When this happens, it reduces the morale for those covering for the bad hires, because they will have additional work without any sort of incentives.
This will affect productivity, as some will end up doing double the work while covering for the less competent staff.
It can lead to demoralisation of the competent staff, who will eventually give your customers poor service.
4. Confusion in the Supply Chain
In some instances, the unqualified personnel may be placed somewhere along the supply chain of the business.
Although this means they may not necessarily have to interact directly with customers, they can cause problems elsewhere.
If an incompetent employee is placed in a position where they handle customer information, for example, they may cause delays or confusion to the service, which ultimately affects the end customer.
Such problems can reduce the customers’ confidence and trust in your business operations.
Customers who start feeling this way are highly likely to leave when they find a service provider that offer a better service.
*Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba is a marketing enthusiast with a strong passion for customer service. For comments, suggestions and training, she can be reached on [email protected] or on 0712 979 461, 0719 978 335