Accentuate the Positive –
The WOW! Awards started from a dark place. Amidst a climate of sensational and negative consumer journalism, The WOW! Awards was born as a way to focus on the people and organisations that give exceptionally good customer service.
This was a new concept. Very little had previously been done to highlight the good stuff and encourage people to be even better. Over the years that The WOW! Awards has been growing, we’ve learnt so much about leadership, recognition and basic psychology. It’s made me realise that most people are driven more by their fears than by their aspirations!
There are four fears of leadership that I believe may be holding people back:
A fear that customers only want to complain. The evidence from The WOW! Awards is that customers around the world love to say, “Thank you,” for a job well done.
A fear that only by managing the minute detail can we expect people to achieve the best result. Our experience of The WOW! Awards is that people love to excel. When given the responsibility, the resources, the space and the recognition they will generally exceed all expectations. Better employee engagement is often about creating and communicating a clear vision and then letting go.
A fear that we need to attach money to activity. We tend to believe that money is a motivator; that we need to reward people for better performance. The reality is that recognition is far more powerful than reward.
“Being respected is the single biggest motivator in all respondents, far more than money!” Austin Benn UK Sales Survey
A fear that softness is weakness. Most of us became managers and leaders by being technically good in a particular skill or trade. We might not have had the training or exposure that we really needed to become great leaders. It’s easy to think that we need to be tougher as managers and that any form of soft skills is a sign of weakness. But the world is changing. We can now see that emotional intelligence is a powerful tool. We have a better understanding of human psychology.
We can now see that a well delivered and sincere thank you is a powerful motivator.
“I can get my people to die for a ribbon but they won’t die for money!” Napoleon Bonaparte
If you are interested in the science of motivation, you might like to see this presentation from Dan Pink, author of Drive! “Our Motivations are Unbelievably Interesting!”
Written by Derek Williams, Creator of The WOW! Awards
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it has!
One of the greatest surprises to come out of The WOW! Awards is that customers love to say, “Thank you,” when they have received great customer service. In fact, we believe that they have a much greater propensity to say thank you than they do to complain.
You will know the situation. Supposing you have had a great customer experience. It might have been in a shop, from your utility company, at your child’s university or maybe from a contact centre. Wouldn’t you like to say, “Thank you”?
It’s not always appropriate to give a tip. But we all feel a desire to thank someone who has gone out of their way or exceeded our expectations and we want to say it in a way that is going to be recognised by the management of that organisation. We want to cement that level of service. We want it to be repeated for ourselves and for other customers. We want to go out and say to others, “Here is a great organisation with fantastic customer service!”
The problem is that most organisations only have a system for complaints. If you only ever ask for complaints then all you will ever get are complaints!
The WOW! Awards is a very simple process that allows your customers to give a sincere thank you for a job well done. Your customers will love it and so will your employees.
There is a lot of talk about the benefits of improving employee engagement. The WOW! Awards is a very easy and practical step to take towards improving employee engagement in your organisation.
“The number 1 reason that people leave their jobs is because they do not feel appreciated!” US Department of Labor
Employee Engagement doesn’t have to be rocket science!
There is a very simple way to improve Employee Engagement in your place of work.
Improved output, better customer retention, word of mouth marketing and all with reduced costs. The impact on the bottom line can be stunning! And that’s what everyone is after.
The secret to The WOW! Awards is that it is a very simple process that allows customers to provide positive feedback. The simplicity and quick implementation mean that is an incredibly powerful way of improving employee engagement and customer experience.
What we’ve discovered is that:
The best organisations have an efficient system to encourage positive customer feedback.
- Positive feedback is very important in helping you to identify what your customers really expect.
- Sincere appreciation when delivered through your senior management motivates people to deliver great service.
- It’s a powerful way to reinforce your corporate values and keep customer experience on both the board room and front line agenda.
- Our experience with The WOW! Awards is that customers are hugely enthusiastic to say “thank you” when they have had great service. In fact, they would much rather compliment good service than they would complain about bad service. Some organisations are receiving over 300 customer nominations for The WOW! Awards every month!
- Recognition is one of the most powerful drivers of improved employee engagement and yet, one of the most difficult for organisations to do themselves.
The WOW! Awards has legs! It really works! It works long term. Many users of The WOW! Awards have been seeing the benefits for more than 5 years.
It works because we make it work. The process runs throughout the year. We judge every single nomination. We recognise the people who deliver great service; typically 34% of nominations result in a certificate being presented.