When was the last time that you walked into a business place and felt………nothing? No energy, no excitement and no vibe. Some businesses have no energy whatsoever. The décors may be pleasant, employees may be around, but the “feel” of the businesses is lifeless. It’s a mystery to me how many businesses get away with having dull energy.
This lifelessness should be a telling sign that if customers feel nothing, then maybe they should not get their hopes up about having an exceptional experience. Now, if the energy isn’t there, that doesn’t mean that the business will collapse, it just means that the dullness may prevent the business from striking gold with the customer.
Here’s the tale of three businesses that I patronize. One is a small, intimate tea shop that is just bubbling over with personality. Everything about the place has an energy; the layout, the welcoming smiles, the soft music and, of course, the food and the way it is served. The place is well patronized. The other business is a pharmacy. It is has all the products that I need, but has dull energy. I’m not a frequent shopper here, even though it’s on my homebound route.
Some businesses have no energy whatsoever. The décors may be pleasant, employees may be around, but the “feel” of the businesses is lifeless.
This pharmacy is fairly well patronized though. I’m guessing that when it comes to drug stores, if customers can access the basics, such as filling prescriptions, some personal care items, quick food items and the like, there may not be a burning need for a bespoke experience.
Now, here’s the story about my favourite pharmacy. This one is off route, but its energy level is high and its personality is warm and friendly. At this pharmacy, as soon as customers enter, there’s a security officer who greets you in a way that is both friendly and familiar. He takes the time to ask how you’re doing and wishes you a safe journey home. The floor representatives are helpful and the service counter representatives are efficient and equally pleasant.
Can you imagine that something as simple as energy can create a meaningful connection with customers? I suspect that its impact is underrated in a huge way because businesses just don’t understand how human behaviour works and how making an emotional connection with a customer links to repeat business.
Businesses lack energy for several reasons. The internal culture may not be motivational and so, employees don’t bring excitement and high engagement to customer-facing interactions.
Businesses lack energy for several reasons. The internal culture may not be motivational and so, employees don’t bring excitement and high engagement to customer-facing interactions. I have found that businesses are far too negligent with their internal cultures. For example, toxic behaviours at all levels go unpunished and there are not sufficient bonding activities undertaken to build unity within the employee community.
Still on the internal front, I have come across quite a bit of multi-generational conflict. Managers seem unable to master the art of managing modern-day workforces that are generationally-blended. This creates teams that are disjointed and unable to build the skills of collaboration and cohesion, resulting in internal frustration.
Another reason for flagging energy is that businesses hardly establish continuous improvement as an enforceable target. When a business places all of its people and operational functions under the microscope and attaches continuous improvement targets that are monitored and measured every month, then leaders become more accountable for showing results. Accountability has become a buzz word that everyone uses, but one that is not converted into executable action. When accountability is paired with continuous improvement, the performance, efficiency and of course, service delivery levels of the business, improve.
It’s about examining all of the factors that are contributing to the dullness and creating a multi-pronged strategy for building out game changing energy that invigorates both the internal culture and the external customer experience.
So here’s two ways in which a business can raise its energy level and in so doing, create more meaningful connections with customers. One way is to refresh its internal culture, so that staff members become more energized and exude positive energy during customer interactions. The other, is to create a signature activity for which the business is known, sort of like the loud birthday celebrations for which one franchise is known, or the personalized cups that distinguishes another popular franchise.
The other piece of this pie relates to addressing the issue of lifeless energy from a holistic reference point. It’s about examining all of the factors that are contributing to the dullness and creating a multi-pronged strategy for building out game changing energy that invigorates both the internal culture and the external customer experience.
In short, energy matters. To both the internal and to the external customer.