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If outstanding customer service is a must for successful businesses today, it’s also one of the biggest challenges they face. The last decade has seen a growing trend in educating staff within the workplace, as part of a conscious effort made by employers to improve their employees’ customer service skills to the best possible standard.

Many companies focus these efforts on enhancing the product knowledge and soft skills of their staff, but the intangible element that actually makes for successful customer interaction comes down to one thing: employee engagement.

The employees who are tuned into and passionate about what they do, will be the ones who will deliver the best experiences.

The most iconic brands around today are not defined by the product or the level of service they are associated with. They succeed because their customer’s experience of them is one that is special and which they can appreciate, enjoy and remember. And we all know the rest of the story: If a customer is more than happy with the service they receive from a company, then they will more than likely use the company again. Furthermore, they will recommend it to others, thus enhancing the company’s reputation.

However, if a customer is dissatisfied they will more than likely not use the company again and they will also tell others about their bad experience, thus damaging the reputation of the company. Hence employee engagement is vital to the survival of a business.

Despite its significance to a company, ‘employee engagement’ is often fatally overlooked by employers because, traditionally, organizations are used to teach people to do things - and attitude is something that cannot be taught. I can use the most effective methods of training to provide colleagues with the knowledge and skills they need to understand and deliver this, but if this is all I do, it is very unlikely that my customers will notice any difference.