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6 Steps to Fostering Happy Reps & Customers eBook

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Creating a happy work environment is serious business, especially when you consider its effect on productivity, profitability and turnover. So how can you take something as intangible as happiness and cultivate it in your relationships with customers and employees?

That’s easy, you take steps — six, to be exact. Underneath all our rugged individuality, customers and employees share many needs

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Creating a happy work environment is serious business, especially when you consider its effect on productivity, profitability and turnover. So how can you take something as intangible as happiness and cultivate it in your relationships with customers and employees?

That’s easy, you take steps — six, to be exact. Underneath all our rugged individuality, customers and employees share many needs that when met, lead to happiness, which leads to all sorts of other great things, like loyalty and profits and actually looking forward to Monday. Check out our latest e-book "6 Steps to Fostering Happy Reps & Customers” and learn what top business leaders are doing now to make the most of everyone’s happiness.

Download this e-book and learn how to impact happiness by:

  1. Empowering Employees to Do Their Job
  2. Personalizing Customer Service
  3. Listening to Employees and Customers
  4. Giving and Soliciting Feedback
  5. Creating a Culture of Honesty
  6. Being Truly Grateful

Finding Their Happy Place

Fostering Happy Customers AND Happy Sales and Service Reps

Everyone knows the old adage, “You can’t make everyone happy,” but when it comes to business, smart leaders ignore old adages and reach for the stars. Companies that underestimate the importance of making employees and customers happy and simply focus on running their business are likely missing the big picture of how these two variables impact profits, costs and growth.

Imagine a world where customers and reps are not just content, but genuinely happy with their everyday experience with your brand. What would that be like? And, more importantly, how could you make it a way of life? To understand what it would be like, we’ll take a peek at the best practices of companies known for delighting people, like Zappos and Nordstrom. We’ll also share steps you can take now to keep customers and employees on the sunny side.


Step 1: Set Them Free

Give Employees Permission to Please

Much has been written about the legendary customer service of Nordstrom, a company that has continued to increase sales year over year — in good economies and bad. One might surmise that to continuously achieve such results employees must follow a strict code, but that’s where Nordstrom is dramatically different. New employees are given only one rule to follow:

Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use good judgment. There will be no additional rules.

By respecting their employees’ ability to choose the right action in every situation, Nordstrom has created a culture where employees bend over backwards to honor the trust they have been given. Not surprisingly, Nordstrom is a Hall of Fame member of Fortune magazine’s list, “100 Best Companies to Work For,” which enables them to continue to attract top talent.


Step 2: Get Real

Make Business Personal

Admit it, you’ve yelled at an automated voice-bot, and you’ve done it more than once. Ironically, we live in a society that prefers texting to talking, EXCEPT when it comes to customer service. Customers want to speak to a person — a real one — and right now. So give them what they want. Zappos did, and it’s a feature of their service that customers praise them for daily. Zappos’ decision to populate their customer service centers with real people, who really care, is born out of their three-point vision:

The Zappos Vision:

  1. One day, 30% of all retail transactions in the US will be online.*
  2. People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection.
  3. will be that online store.

Sure, it’s a temptation to cut costs by automating everything, but don’t do it, because it’s a move that could cost you customers in the end. The solution? Let your people speak for themselves.

*Currently e-tail transactions account for 15% of all US sales.


Step 3: Listen Close

Hear Employees and Customers Out

An essential component of human happiness stems from the ability to make meaningful connections with other humans. As wonderful as technology is, there’s just no substitute for shared moments with someone who understands, regardless of whether that person is a customer, an employee or the love of your life.

The easiest way to connect with others is simply to listen. But in an age of endless distractions, listening can be complex. So if you want to do it well, then you must stop whatever you are doing, put down the phone, turn away from the screen, make eye contact (if possible) and without interrupting, let the other person have the floor. Even when you don’t agree with someone, the act of listening powerfully diffuses tension by making the other person feel important and heard.


Step 4: Say Something

Give and Take Feedback

Now that you’ve mastered the happiness-inducing skill of being a good listener, it’s your turn to talk. Providing feedback is essential to the happiness of sales people, who thrive on praise, and customer service reps, who live for building relationships. Both groups are happiest when they know not only where they stand, but what they are doing right and what they could do to become even more amazing. When employees know what is expected of them and how their role impacts the company’s performance, they have everything they need to succeed.

Of course, there’s a flip side to this coin, and that’s receiving feedback from customers. While hearing good things is always a day-maker, companies that welcome critical feedback, and more importantly, act on it, consistently outperform competitors. To obtain good feedback from customers, make sure you ask the right questions and make the process simple and easy. People love to give their opinions, and they’ll thank you when you consider their complaints and suggestions by becoming loyal advocates of your brand.


Step 5: Be Transparent

Honesty Really Is the Best Policy

No other delusion is quite as toxic as self-delusion, so how do you avoid it? You tell the truth, all the time, even when you’re scared of the consequences. Transparency is a policy that Buffer CEO, Leo Widrich readily admits terrified him, and yet when he faced his fears and dove in, he later reflected that it was this decision that led to the company’s phenomenal growth and financial turnaround from “making nothing” to making millions. He now sees transparency as one of Buffer’s most important competitive advantages, and one that has created a genuine bond of trust with employees and customers.

In the Buffer list of values, “Default to Transparency” is second, just behind “Always Choose Positivity and Happiness.” Aside from growth and profitability, Widrich maintains that Buffer’s openness about vulnerabilities has led to greater collaboration and personal growth for everyone.

Buffer Value #2: Default to Transparency:

Take pride in opportunities to share Buffer’s beliefs, failures, strengths and decisions. Transparency is a tool used to help others, and you should always state your thoughts immediately and with honesty.*


Step 6: Mind Your Manners

Always Say Thank You

Happiness researchers have found a “significant, consistent, and sizeable effect of gratitude”* in promoting social ties and creating lasting happiness in people of all ages and social groups. Time and again, studies have shown that the simple act of saying thank you to someone is not only transformative to their outlook, it impacts their health in a positive way and creates a spirit of goodwill that the recipient of the gratitude then “pays forward” to others.

Of course, telling customers and representatives you appreciate them is a great first step, but showing them you appreciate them may be a move you’ll thank yourself for later. Michael Alter, CEO of SurePayroll, believes his company’s record-setting growth rate of 30% each year and listing in Inc. 500’s list of “Fastest Growing Companies” (twice) is a direct result of showing gratitude. Employees are thanked for every five years of service with an all-expenses paid, four-day vacation with a guest at an upscale resort.

(Source*: (Source:

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We hope our eBook on employee and customer happiness has helped you identify new ways you can inspire joy in your pursuit of happiness in the workplace.


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