Motivating your Millennials

The last time you were disappointed with a product or service as a customer, you may have experienced first-hand a disturbing trend in customer service. Namely, young employees are increasingly reluctant to apologize to customers and take responsibility for foul-ups. I think this has to do with how we are collectively raising our kids. We convey to them they’re so wonderful that in soccer we award medals just for showing up. We instill an artificial sense of self esteem, rather than a well earned feeling of self reliance.

Unfortunately, when these young people enter the work world – often in frontline service – they can’t imagine why this customer is angry at them for not performing. It’s not surprising that their first instinct is to become defensive or argumentative, or to simply quit and go home to the protected world of mommy and daddy where they can do no wrong and still get food, clothing, laundry service, etc.

The good news is there is a solution that we know works, but only when managers and business owners commit to making work. Organizations that have stronger customer loyalty, lower staff turnover, and higher profits have learned that you need to equip young employees with skills that you didn’t need to in the past. Today’s young employees need specific training on how to convert upset customers into advocates of your organization. With past generations, these conflict resolutions skills were somewhat intuitive. Now, these skills are either completely missing, or need tuning-up. We’ve found that when we teach this in a simple half day seminar for our clients, along with providing ongoing support tools, their team members learn that it’s not so bad apologizing and that taking responsibility dramatically diffuses stressful situations. Most importantly, they learn how to earn their customers’ trust even when things go wrong.

Some managers and business owners simply complain and write-off young employees. Others take a different approach and provide training that helps employees, customers, and their bottom line.

 Jeff Mowatt is a customer service strategist, award-winning speaker, and bestselling author.   For more tips, training tools or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit    www.JeffMowatt.com

 

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