Entrepreneurs may be more focused on business building than they are employee development, but learning how to manage a team and help individuals grow is at the heart of creating a strong, skilled, and sustainable organization. Conducting periodic employee performance evaluations is a major part of overseeing a group of employees and ensuring they continue to improve and acquire skills.
My colleagues have shared tips on how to assess employees' work and offer guidance so they can improve, but I would like to add another point to the subject of reviews. Not only should you discuss team members' abilities to set objectives, deliver results, complete projects and work with others, but you should also critique their skills when it comes to client experience.
Together You Create the Client Experience
Regardless of whether an employee works in the sales division, on the marketing team or in the back office, it's important to convey the message that everyone in your company is a client service representative.
Think about it: Everything you do - whether it is explicitly to improve services or products, to increase awareness of your brand or to make operations run more smoothly behind the scenes - ultimately impacts the client experience. Therefore, you should coach your employees to ask themselves "how does this help the client experience?" whenever they perform a task or function.
When engaged in employee performance evaluations regarding client relationship management, ask your employees about their current attitudes toward client service and their opinions on the company's current ability to create a meaningful client experience and fulfill clients' needs. Have them describe their approach to managing client demands and problems. What systems do they use? What's their fall-back plan when they run into a conflict or an issue they cannot solve alone? Your employees answers will provide insight into their client relationship management skill level, and will also give you a sense of what systems, tools, and technologies your organization must develop to help the team perform their responsibilities. Request that they outline some of their personal goals for building upon existing client relationship management processes in the coming months.
Ask them what they think they do well in terms of CRM, and what areas of interacting with customers they need to develop. If you see a skills gap among the majority of your employees, it may be wise to invest in customer service training. This will make them more confident in handling client relations and will benefit your business in the form of improved client satisfaction and a stronger client relationship management reputation.