Poor employee feedback leads to poor customer service

By Peggy Carlaw

Giving feedback to your employees is one of the most important things you can do for each of them individually, and your team as a whole. Oftentimes, managers are either afraid or simply do not know how to give an employee feedback whether positive or negative. When this happens, employees are left to do their job with no specific direction. That can be a recipe for confusion, and a poor customer experience.

To ensure that you are providing your employees with effective feedback, adhere to the following seven fundamentals of feedback:

1. Be Specific – It's important to focus on specific details. This will allow your employee to understand exactly what he or she did right or wrong.

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2. Focus on Performance, Not Personality – Always center your feedback on the issues of performance. If you feel that a character flaw is affecting the performance of your employee, translate it into a performance issue before giving feedback.

3. Focus on Behavior that Can Be Changed – Be realistic. Prior to giving feedback, ask yourself if this is something that can be changed, or is it simply beyond your employee's control?

4. Keep it Simple and Sincere – You don't want to overwhelm your employee with unnecessary information. You will have greater results by speaking from the heart and focusing on one or two issues at a time.

5. Give Feedback as Soon as Possible – Feedback is most effective as soon as you recognize the behavior. If you are not able to give feedback, be sure to have a tape of the call or copy of the email to refer to when you do coach your employee.

6. Pay Attention to Your Body Language – When giving feedback, your body language speaks volumes. Be sure to keep the conversation private, maintain eye contact and watch the tone of your voice.

7. Avoid the Ambush Approach – If you hear or see a problem, avoid running over to your employee and immediately giving them feedback. By easing into your feedback session, you allow your employee to mentally prepare for the feedback.

By following these steps, you are on your way to providing effective feedback and building a professional, caring relationship with your employees. Keep in mind that all feedback is important and necessary!

Customer Service Tip: The effects of feedback can help you build a stronger team. It keeps you connected to your employees and allows you to be aware of their strengths and areas for improvement. Each week, make it a point to provide each of your employees with feedback. Establish a system to keep track of your employees' feedback to ensure you give attention to all of your employees. Remember, feedback means that you care.

Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies create a customer-focused culture and improve the customer experience while producing measurable business results.

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