I’m always excited when a book on employee engagement comes into my field of vision. It just adds more validity to the principles and practice behind the work I do to help organizations design a remarkable work experience. A fairly recent book added to my library is Sybil Stershic’s Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care. For the most part, it is a thoughtful and useful resource for any organizational manager or executive who wants to build a strong service-oriented culture from the inside-out.
If you’re at all on the fence about about employee engagement’s connection to customer service, here are a few quotes to consider:
Employees influence what customers think about your business and determine whether (or not) they’ll establish and maintain relationships with your company.
It should be no surprise that the way people treat each other within an organization impacts how they ultimately treat external customers…good internal service drives good external customer service.
What You’ll Love About This Book
It’s short and to the point.
The book is just over 100 pages and Sybil lays out exactly what’s inside in the first paragraph:
This is a book about the “care and feeding” of the people who are ultimately responsible for an organization’s success. It’s about internal marketing – a blended approach focused on taking care of employees so they can take care of customers. It is about marketing and human resources, and management, and creating a positive customer-focused culture.
Each chapter ends with an Action Plan Starter Notes section to help you take the information of the chapter and rework it into your organization’s unique situation. In the last chapter, Sybil offers worksheets where you can take these notes and put them together to form an Employee-Customer Care Internal Marketing Action Plan.
Currently, one of the toughest things to find are statistics to support the impact that employee engagement has on organizational health and customer service. Many executives continue to view some of the key principles of employee engagement like respect and recognition as soft values which is their polite (and misguided) way of invalidating them. Which is why her use of statistics in many cases vital when it comes to making the argument for focusing more on the employee relationship.
It’s not just for corporations.
In a couple of places, Sybil addresses non-profit organizations and offers some ideas to help non-profits relate for-profit terms to their situation. While there could be a little more emphasis in the book for the non-profit sector, I’m impressed that she actually includes it in her thinking…most thinkers and writers in this space focus entirely on the corporate world.
I’d like to invite Sybil to share her thoughts and answers to your questions about how to create a great employee-customer care program. To kick it off, here are a couple of questions:
- If employee-customer care is such a powerful concept (and in many ways a no-brainer), why don’t more organizations realize this and focus more resources on it?
- In what ways can non-profits, particularly professional associations, build staff-member/constituent care programs? Are there any parallels from the for-profit sector that non-profit executives should include? Any differences to watch for?
I’m the third stop on the virtual book tour for Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most. The stops include:
June 1st, Kevin Burns posted a review at Burns Blogs Attitude.
June 3rd, Lisa Rosendahl posted a review at HR Thoughts.
June 4th, You Are Here
June 5th, Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing will be posting an interview with Sybil.
June 6th, Becky Carroll at Customers Rock! will be posting a review and interview with Sybil.
June 9th, Paul Hebert will be posting a review on the blog Incentive Intelligence.
June 10th, Phil Gerbyshak will be posting an interview on the blog Slacker Manager.
Check in with these stops throughout the next couple of weeks. More information about this new book is available on the WME Books blog, the book page on the WME online store and at the Quality Service Marketing blog. If you’re interested in buying this book, go directly to the WME online store and enter this discount code – 107VBT – to receive 20% off your purchase.