In every office and warehouse in all corners of the globe, there are responders (responsive employees) and late responders (unresponsive employees). As you read this you probably patted yourself on the back or nodded your head, “yeah I one of the responsive ones.” Next, you thought of that person on your team or in another department that never seems to, well, respond to anything or anyone. How do they keep their job anyway, you wonder.
We all know late responders, we all have stories about them. YouTube “bad service” and watch customers answer the phones in retails stores because no employees would do it. Try calling the government on a service hot line. I don’t mean to pick on the obvious, however, I just called my state government and was told “your call is very important to us, there are currently 97 callers in front of you and we will answer your call in 1 hour and 24 minutes, please go to the website…” I had to wait. I eventually talked to a responder, but wow, their overall service is much more about being a late responder! So what are the responsive and non-responsive behaviors?
- Ignoring emails and any repeated attempts to engage — (After many attempts to combat this behavior, others may even make excuses for late responders [they are busy, they have a hard job], but these are excuses for non-responsive behavior.)
- Letting calls go to voicemail because you can — I am not talking about general opinions about phones and texts here. I am talking about flat out avoidance of work.
- Cancelling meetings
- Not listening — (Late responders do all of the talking.)
- “Quitting and staying” — I don’t have enough help or I have issues at home, they say. Whatever it is, late responders can’t help you, no matter what kind of customer you are. Have you been to an overwhelmed, fast food restaurant lately?
- Complacency — Late responders have no reason to try too hard. Perhaps they are comfortable, or hiding from you. Regardless there is no internal reason to respond any faster than they feel like.
- Take action and engage
- Showing respect for and appreciating others
- Know, build and maintain important relationships in and out of the company
- Balancing the need to get to the to do list with the needs of others
- Caring — Sure it helps when you like your company and believe in its cause.
- Liking what you do — It also helps to have a boss that cares about your aspirations and looks out for you.
If you’re smart, you’re realizing that these responsive behaviors are a personal choice that your employees have to make. A great company focused on service realizes that this is a wonderful way to add value to customers’ and employees’ worlds. And it’s free. So try this inexpensive way to improve customer service and adopt or promote responsive behaviors in your workplace.
- Being a non-responder or owner of a company full of them is not free. It’s bad for business, and in fact, hurts your paycheck or your income statement.
- Being a responder is free, a competitive advantage and good for stakeholders.
p.s. If you really are a responder, you can work for me anytime. Send your resume to icanhelpyou [at] thecbigroup.com