Learning & Development

How To Prioritize Employee Satisfaction in Client-Facing Companies

With client-facing roles, there is an expectation for employees to put their best foot forward and represent the company well in each interaction. Often, this can result in employees feeling an extra sense of pressure at work as they balance client meetings and tackling other deliverables in their roles. In particularly busy times, this can turn into added stress that carries over into their personal lives.

Employee satisfaction must be prioritized to help ensure this stress is manageable and that it does not begin to affect an employee’s ability to meet their goals. Maintaining a positive work environment through open communication, empowering employees with training, and supporting them with adequate work-life balance will be paramount for ensuring they manage client expectations and excel in every interaction. We will break down these priorities in more detail below:

5 Strategies for Prioritizing Employee Satisfaction

Creating a Positive Work Environment

In any industry, creating a positive work environment will help employees to excel in their roles. Further, positive work environments often reflect in client communication channels as clients are able to recognize when a team works well together and supports each other. In contrast, when employees are made to feel discredited, unheard, or less than in their roles, this can affect how they communicate with team members and clients and reflect poorly on the organization.

To help create a positive work environment, your organization should have a system for acclimating each employee to the company and ensuring they have support throughout onboarding. It is important to prioritize the social aspect of the workplace, so people feel comfortable reaching out to their peers when they need help or clarification. The organization should have zero tolerance for any bullying or harassment among employees, as a majority of unfair targeting in the workplace comes from managers and peers rather than clients or customers. It is essential to mitigate this with strong policies and regular check-ins in order to maintain an inclusive and positive culture.

Effective Communication and Feedback

Internal communication should always be an open two-way channel. Regular check-ins with managers and team meetings are needed to help encourage feedback and employees to speak up. Scheduling weekly or biweekly 1-1 meetings between supervisors and each team member can ensure a good pulse is kept on employee capacity and client concerns and that they are able to express when they need help with certain items.

Monthly and quarterly feedback assessments can also be helpful for employees to feel reassured they are on the right track and for opening up dialogue about areas that need improvement. Feedback should also be a two-way channel, so be sure to ask employees to voice any concerns or questions at the end of each meeting.

Not every employee will feel comfortable speaking up when they have something on their mind, especially if it is related to a sensitive topic. Having a mechanism to illicit anonymous feedback can be helpful in this regard and ensure issues important to employee satisfaction are not glossed over. Address each concern, no matter how big or small, in a timely and professional manner to ensure employees feel supported and comfortable speaking up on a continuous basis. Actions speak louder than words in this regard.

Additionally, recognizing achievements by employees both in public and private can help boost morale and make employees feel valued. Sending kudos for a job well done can be the extra encouragement an employee needs to tackle a hard week.

Empowerment and Autonomy

In any client-facing industry, employees need to feel empowered during client conversations to tackle them confidently and deliver results. Micromanaging and controlling behavior make employees feel untrusted and can hinder productivity. Instead of controlling each situation with clients, managers need to give employees autonomy to take ownership of their client interactions. Fostering this trust in the workplace frees up resources and makes employees feel engaged and accountable for their work, creating purpose and improving satisfaction in their roles.

Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

The hope is that each of the previous strategies helps lead to less stressful working days and, therefore, better work-life balance. However, making a more profound commitment to flexibility in the workplace can help show your company’s commitment to work-life balance and overall employee satisfaction. Initiatives such as flexible start times, extra earned time off, remote work options and regular workload assessments can help your employees not just stay afloat but feel energized for each day.

Offer Training and Development for Client-Facing Roles

For your employees to truly feel empowered to take ownership of their client interactions, they need to be properly trained on how to best communicate to deliver the desired messaging and listen and act on any concerns clients may have. Providing comprehensive and ongoing training programs internally and outsourcing externally can create a holistic education for your employees in client-facing roles. Those who are in high call volume roles, such as sales and account management, need to have a vault of communication tactics that they can use on the fly. Tailoring training to address common roadblocks employees face in their daily meetings will be paramount for success. When employees are adequately prepared, increased productivity and satisfaction become much more effortless.

Overcoming Resistance and Roadblocks

Implementing these initiatives can come with resistance to changes, especially with the needed culture shift. Addressing this resistance requires prioritizing feedback from managers and employees alike and creating an environment of collaboration to anticipate and tackle roadblocks as they arise. Here, feedback surveys can be used to get first-hand accounts of how initiatives are being received by employees, and you can analyze progress and satisfaction. Based on feedback, the organization is better suited to pivot strategies where needed and continues to move forward to 100% employee satisfaction.

When you prioritize your employees and their success in client-facing roles, you prioritize your clients and business growth. A positive work environment that values open communication, collaboration, work-life balance, and ongoing training will be crucial to increasing employee satisfaction in their roles. Clients recognize and appreciate an organization that values employees just as much as their clients, as they know those who are satisfied in their roles deliver top-notch service.

Jill Ulvestad is the CEO & Co-Founder of Funnel Clarity. Jill applies her expertise in driving sales performance and results, developing sales strategy and streamlining skills development to the Funnel Clarity team. With nearly 20 years of business development and consulting experience, Jill provides valued sales performance insight to her roles as co-founder and managing partner of Funnel Clarity.

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