Motivating employees to achieve quality service
The path to success usually involves the implementation of a series of consolidated principles over years, if not decades, before rewards can come rolling in. But if these principles are firmly and effectively applied, encouraging results can be achieved earlier than expected.
Established in 1995, Richform Holdings' quality journey is regarded as relatively short, but it has already won many awards in recognition of its success.
Some of its honours include the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence - Customer Service Excellence Gold Award for SME 2005/06 and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service - Caring Company 2006/07.
Richform Holdings is the exclusive master distributor of United States brand Everpure drinking water systems in Hong Kong and Macau. The company introduces and provides healthy drinking water systems and related products such as water dispensers and outdoor drinking water fountains. It offers a full range of sale and after-sale services.
'Our quality journey focuses on service excellence and customer loyalty,' said Jimmy Lau, Richform chief executive officer. 'Our management team is able to guide and sustain the quality journey by a list of principles.' He listed them as 'quality comes first'; 'customers are the focus of everything we do'; 'continuous improvement is essential to our success'; 'employee involvement is our way of life'; 'dealers and suppliers are our partners' and 'integrity is never compromised'.
'Nowadays, customers are becoming ever more demanding. We believe that if the customer is highly satisfied with products or services, then he or she is more likely to generate repeat purchases, cross purchases and word-of-mouth referrals.'
However, Mr Lau said satisfied customers would leave if there was a better alternative. Only loyal customers would stay as long as possible.
'Therefore, our philosophy in dealing with customers starts from offering excellent products and services through dedicated staff. This enhances the level of customer satisfaction. When a high customer satisfaction level can be achieved consistently, trust will be built and customers become loyal,' he explained.
'To further pursue our belief in lifelong quality improvement we aim to excel over others in the market. We focus on the development of employee's competencies for the provision of quality services and products.'
Richform believes that only happy and satisfied employees will deliver quality service and products. The company pays attention to creating favourable conditions to support employees. Besides an 'orange-a-day' scheme, appreciation meals and birthday leave, other initiatives are adopted to help create a stronger sense of belonging among staff.
The company is convinced that its quality service depends largely on how well the employees do. Richform does whatever it can to ensure that employees live up to quality service. In doing so, it mobilises employees to take part in continuous learning and improvement.
Last year, the company sponsored more than 10 staff (about half of its employees) to attend various training sessions and seminars.
It recognises top performers and rewards outstanding performance. Both monetary (cash, salary, promotion) and non-monetary (prizes and awards, mentions in the newsletter and notice boards) rewards have been given to employees from time to time.