By way of introduction, I am Nicola Subben, founder of Ngage Training. In case you’re wondering, “Ngage” is pronounced as “ENGAGE” – the word it was inspired from and also because my first name begins with the letter “N”.
I have always wanted to do something which I am passionate about, but where I could also add maximum value, and this led to me to starting my own company. I have more than 20 years of work experience in the field of Human Resources but specialised in Learning and Development for most of those years. During my time of being permanently employed, I have had the privilege to facilitate various training programmes across different industries. My forte or perhaps personal preference has been the programmes that were related to the improvement of Customer Service Excellence.
Customer Service Excellence
In South Africa, I do believe that we have lots of room for improvement in this area. As a customer myself, it disappoints (I’m being very subtle here) me each time I experience poor customer service. If you provide a service to people, it is expected that it is done with a certain level of respect, care and common courtesy. The principles for good customer service are relatively simple, but the execution thereof is usually underwhelming.
Often, we make assumptions, get angry and judge the service we receive. We assume that one doesn’t care and perhaps we are sometimes right. However, this isn’t always the case. What if the person didn’t receive any training? What if the person is not engaged at work? These are astoundingly common reasons why Customer Service Excellence is not a priority for many (understatement) in the service industry.
Regardless of the industry, any person or team providing service to others, wants to feel appreciated. They want a sense of value and a sense of purpose. This cannot happen if there isn’t effective engagement in the workplace. In order for service providers to communicate the customers’ value, they too, as employees, have to feel valued. If an individual or a team of people are not happy in the workplace, this can easily be seen and experienced by external customers and all other stakeholders.
Enhancing Engagement for Performance
It goes without saying that employees not only want but need engagement. They thrive on it. They want to know about their performance. They want to know about the plans ahead for the business. They want to know about new developments, new technology, new employees. They want to know everything. They want to wake up each morning feeling motivated to go to work, with a sense of purpose and they want to go home each day, with a sense of achievement. They want to be engaged.
Employees who are not engaged will not feel empowered. They will lack a sense of purpose. Who wants to go to work each day without a sense of purpose? Who can feel enthusiastic about engaging with their customers if they don’t feel like they are being engaged? If this is the case, the environment becomes toxic, one which you certainly don’t want to be part of. Employees then end up going to work to earn a salary and not to make a meaningful positive difference.
The Consequences of a lack of Engagement
This is when employees disconnect. This is when your business loses customers. This is when sales decrease, complaints increase, staff turnover increases, profits decrease, contracts end, causing the reputation of your business to not be very favourable. There are of course many other far reaching consequences, including the lack of an innovative culture.
Your employees’ attitude can make or break the service cycle, it can contribute as a determining factor on a deal that’s about to close. Your employees are the face/voice of your business. The attitude they project to your customers determines how much of repeat business you get or not. Their attitude depends on the level and effectiveness of engagement within your business.
So how does one improve Engagement?
I founded Ngage Training, providing a variety of programmes that Enhance Engagement for Performance, which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, making it easily accessible. I’m passionate about what I do and during my time in the corporate environment, I almost always received feedback on how evident this passion came across…but you don’t have to take my word for it…I welcome you and your teams to experience this first hand.
The training and other solutions provided will always be interactive, it’s about ENGAGEMENT after all. There will be fun, fun and fun…lots of it. The high energy interventions incorporating blended learning, will keep you actively engaged. You will learn basic skills and methodology that’s easy to apply. Most of all, you will leave with a sense of purpose, you will be motivated and inspired.