Don’t Cheapen the Customer Experience by Cheapening Your Employees

Too often as a customer, I see miserable, unfriendly, demotivated employees responsible for answering questions and completing transactions. The worst is the shoulder shrug accompanied by a scowl when asked how THEIR day is going.

It is worth the investment to pay employees more than minimum wage to get customer service professionals. Customer service is an art and it can make or break every transaction. Especially in today’s culture of online virality, a bad customer experience (CX) can be extremely damaging to a company’s reputation.

Take Publix, a common grocery store chain in my area. Their motto is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure.” (They push this phrase so much, in fact, that my cousin’s young daughter walked into the store the other day and announced it.)

A bit over the top, perhaps. But Publix stays true to its word, and every time I visit, I feel like I can really breathe. I know I’m unlikely to encounter the rudeness that’s prevalent in South Florida. I know employees will go out of their way to help me find what I need. They even ask how I am or if I need help as I browse. Yes, I know that they are trained to do so. However, Publix is also careful to select employees that come across as genuine. I’m given the sense they would say hello to me if they passed me on the street—or that they would return a wallet I dropped. It’s their job but it’s not insincere, and that is a truly tough mix to find.

These employees present themselves with dignity and take pride in their work—they are happy and as a result they WANT to make things better for others. A business owner cannot put a price on such a valuable employee—so why would a business owner pay these employees, the faces of their company, peanuts……and then expect them to maintain that dignity?

Think about it. Minimum wage hurts not only your employees, but your business.