Employee of the Year

The most important quality for any business – possibly even more important than the product that they provide – is customer service. And Arts Centre Melbourne has realised this through an important initiative.

employee of the monthIn the field of psychology, there has been a lot of research into the functions of memory and there is one important discovery that dramatically influences the way that we think about services. Whether we are listening to a series of seminars, memorising a list of words or seeing a show, we are more likely to remember the first section and the last section.

Now relate this to seeing a show. The first section of the consumer’s experience is collecting tickets, purchasing merchandise, buying food and drink and being directed to your seat. The last section is the final number and navigating your way out of the theatre with guidance from some helpful ushers.

If this important learning from the field of psychology is correct, then as consumers reflect on their night the most vividly recalled sections will be those previously mentioned. And what do they have in common? They all hinge on good customer service!

No matter how good the show is, if you have issues collecting your tickets or are bombarded by incredibly overpriced food and drinks, those are the memories you are going to recall easiest. As such, these are going to be the experiences that they will easily recall when determining if they want to come back and see the next show making customer service an incredibly important part of the consumer’s experience.

Arts Centre Melbourne has clearly recognised the importance of this attribute through their partnership with HOSTPLUS in creating the Standing Ovation Awards (I know, spookily close to the name of this blog!). Emphasising staff reward and recognition by providing a scholarship for overseas travel to refine skills and a number of other prizes, they are creating a culture of celebrating success.

This is a great example of an employee-orientation – i.e. placing a priority on meeting the needs of your employees and creating a good working environment. And employee-orientation is arguably the most powerful of all the business focuses because an organisation is really only as good as its people. So if you have happy people who are aspiring for greatness, then that is the message that will radiate from the organisation.

And it produces some great results as this employee-orientation is the organisational structure used by many of the techno-giants like Google and Facebook!

But most importantly, if your employees are happy then this radiates to your customers. And the best way to ensure that your organisation has lots of repeat business is to make sure these customers can recall positive attributes of their last experience which, as psychology tells us, are heavily based in the customer service component of the evening.