How Companies Can Show Employee Appreciation

Did you know that the number 1 reason people cite for leaving a job is a lack of appreciation?  And, somewhat shockingly, 65% of people surveyed said that they were not recognized for good work in the previous year.[1]  This is unfortunate because time and time again, studies show that when employees feel appreciated, job turnover is reduced, company loyalty grows, and businesses reap financial benefits.  Showing employee appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive either.  Below we offer up some cost-effective ideas for appreciating your staff:

 

  • Say thanks.  This might sound overly simplistic but it works.  A majority of workers cite manager appreciation as being more effective than even financial forms of compensation![2]  When your employees do something of note, take time to thank them or congratulate them for a job well done.  Something as seemingly minor as a “thank you” can make a big difference in how they view their employer.

  • Offer Non-Financial Awards.  One thing that managers often fail to realize is that while bonuses are nice, there are ways to reward employees that don’t cost anything.  For example, you might allow an employee an extended lunch break, the opportunity to leave at noon on a Friday, or a coveted parking spot.  These little things can go a long way toward making employees feel appreciated.

  • Recognize Employees.  Consider a more formal approach to recognition by implementing an “Employee of the Month” award.  Research shows that organizations with the most mature employee recognition programs are 12X more likely to have strong business results.[3]

  • Appreciate Groups.  If you’re operating with a tight budget, you may find it difficult to reward employees individually.  However, you could cut costs by rewarding a department as a whole by throwing a pizza party, bringing in donuts, etc.

By implementing relatively small forms of appreciation like these, you’ll find that employee engagement increases, morale improves, and productivity grows.  Seems like a small price to pay for a simple, “thank you!”

 

Avoidable Business Blunders

From time to time, we like to take a look at business blunders for their instructional and entertainment value.  Below we present the latest and greatest blunders:

Toys ‘R’ Us Presents Drug Dealers as Action Figures.  In October 2014, Toys ‘R’ Us sold Breaking Bad action figures.  The dolls represented 2 popular drug dealers from the Breaking Bad series, and each came with bags of cash and meth.  Not surprisingly, the dolls were later pulled from shelves after a petition was created by a disgruntled parent.[1]

Lululemon Founder Offends Women.  Chip Wilson, founder of yoga apparel shop Lululemon, offended a number of consumers when he failed to take responsibility for an apparent defect in the company’s yoga pants.  When asked about the tendency of the pants to pill, he responded, “Frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for [wearing Lululemon’s pants]…it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs…”[2]  Many angry people interpreted this as Wilson suggesting that they were “too fat” for the Lululemon brand.

Barilla Boycott.  Chairperson Guido Barilla said on a radio show that his company would not create ads for gay people, saying “the family that we speak to is a classic family,” and “for us, the concept of the sacred family remains one of the most basic values of the company.”  These comments led to a consumer boycott, and worse for Barilla, its competitor, Bertolli, then issued a pro-gay ad.  Ultimately, Barilla was forced to apologize.[3]

JC Penney’s Lower Price Strategy Backfires.  When Ron Johnson took over JC Penney, he didn’t want to make consumers jump through hoops to receive discounts.  Instead, he changed the company’s business model and began offering low prices year-round.  Unfortunately, the company discovered that without consumers feeling a sense of urgency, their sales dropped dramatically.  In-store sales fell by 19% and Internet sales dropped 28%.[4]

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Landing Page

While only 22% of businesses are satisfied with the conversion rate of their landing pages, there are many companies that find that their landing pages have significantly increased their revenue.[1]  In fact, while the average conversion rate of a landing page is 2.35%, the most successful companies experience conversion rates in the double digits, 11.45% and higher.[2]  Want to join that elite group?  Below we offer experts’ top suggestions on how you can increase the success of your landing page.

  1. Visually Appealing.  Which would you rather peruse—a page with a busy layout and unattractive color schemes or one that is aesthetically pleasing?  Naturally, you’d choose the latter.  Landing pages should be clean of clutter, flow logically, offer succinct headlines and subheaders, and use bullet points rather than long blocks of text.

  2. Creative CTA (Call-to-Action).  Your CTA refers to the action you would like the web visitor to take—this should be clearly delineated and “above the fold” so landing page visitors don’t need to scroll.  Additionally, research indicates that the more creative your CTA, the better.  So think outside the box.  Search Engine Land found, for example, that by offering a free performance metrics tool, it was able to increase conversions 10X over its previous free trial offer.[3]

  3. Straightforward Copy.  Avoid using formal language in your copy and instead, write as if you were speaking to someone directly.  Strive to use action-oriented verbs—much like you would on a resume—as this will have a greater impact on your page visitors.

  4. Video.  Did you know that video can improve conversion by up to 80%?[4]  Testimonials also add to the persuasiveness of a landing page.  Consider creating a compelling video about your product—you might even want to highlight some of your satisfied customers.

  5. Testing.  Search Engine Land suggests that you test a number of pages with different layouts, copy, and offers.  Specifically, they recommend that “if you want to break into the top 25% (of the most successful landing pages), you need to test four unique landing pages, on average, with different offers, messaging and flow to find that one winner.  To break into the top 10%, you’ll need to test ten different landing pages.”[5]

Thought For The Day

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Soren Kierkegaard

 

 

How to Excel at Customer Service

Did you know that US brands lose roughly $41 billion each year due to bad customer service?  Additionally, statistics show that about 2/3 of consumers have stated that they cut ties with a business over a single bad customer service experience.  On the other hand, 71% of consumers who have had a positive customer service experience are likely to recommend that brand to others.[1]  As you can see, quality customer service can mean the difference between losing your customers or acquiring more.  To offer exceptional customer service, we recommend the following:

  • Use Multiple Channels.

Customers appreciate having a variety of ways to contact a business for customer service support.  Gone are the days where it’s just enough to offer support over the phone.  Instead, allow your consumers to reach your customer service department via multiple channels—web, email, and phone.

  • Resolve Issues Quickly.

Nobody likes feeling like they’re getting the runaround.  Empower your customer service team to be able to make quick decisions and resolve issues quickly, rather than having a lengthy process in place of issue escalation.  The sooner you can correct a problem, the more appreciative your consumer will be.

  • Request Feedback.

Want to really know how consumers perceive your business?  Ask for feedback. Even better, use the feedback you receive.  Many companies take the former step and then fail to act on the information they’ve acquired.  By truly listening to your customers—and then implementing the changes suggested by their feedback—you’ll improve your customers’ experience.

  • Train Support Staff.

Have you ever called a customer service center and gotten someone who had to put you on hold multiple times while they tried to find the answer to your question?  Worse still, maybe you’ve had the experience of contacting customer service multiple times and getting different answers each time you called.  Take the time to thoroughly train your staff and make sure they’re well-versed on the products that you provide, as well as on your guidelines for dealing politely with customers.  Having a well-trained, knowledgeable staff is key to excelling at customer service.