Symmetry of attention

Symmetry of attention has been the talk of the town for the past few years. Customer relationship specialist Zaion takes a look at the concept.

20 June 2022

How can you implement symmetry of attention at work?

Taking care of your customers means taking care of your teams first. This correlation has been established by the principle of symmetry of attention. Why is this new concept so interesting for companies? The reason is that it is based on a two-fold mirror effect that strengthens employee commitment while improving the quality of customer relations and thus their satisfaction.

How does this transformative management approach affect the customer experience? How can you implement symmetry of attention at work? Take a look at this guide!

 

What is symmetry of attention?

The Symmetry of attention principle was developed in the service industry, and more specifically in the hotel industry. It is based on the fundamental principle that the quality of the relationship between a company and its customers is symmetrical to the quality of the relationship between the company and all of its employees. This philosophy has become a firm belief in a growing number of companies across all sectors. It is this firm belief that has inspired the methodology and guided all of Académie du Service’s initiatives. It has conducted an annual barometer of Consideration Symmetry in 11 major sectors of the economy since 2014, based on a representative sample of the French population. The French rate the quality of their experience as customers and the strength of their service culture as employees. These perceptions are presented in parallel.

 

In addition, the Académie du Service has created “Happy Team, Happy Clients”, a Consideration Symmetry label. This has been inspired by companies that want to measure how well Consideration Symmetry has been integrated into their organization, as well as evaluating and promoting its implementation.

Defining symmetry of attention

Symmetry of attention illustrates the relationship between the quality that a company maintains with its employees and customers. This principle demonstrates that there is a close link between employee commitment and customer satisfaction. In other words, if a company’s customers are treated well, it is because its employees are also treated well.

This means that symmetry of attention is directly linked to the quality of management. It is a phenomenon that requires rethinking the organization, collaboration, and processes. It entails a real behavioral transformation that must be discussed and formalized by managers, the HR department, and the CEO. It also requires the use of dedicated management tools to evaluate the new management practices of the teams and the customer relationship.

Why is symmetry of attention a performance driver for the manager?

What if we told you that the employee is the company’s first customer? According to an Accenture survey, 51% of executives are considering personalizing the employee experience based on the customer experience model.

This large-scale transformation has many advantages:

  • Employee satisfaction will grow hand in hand with customer satisfaction
  • Managers will have to consider their own behavior towards employees and improve their practices
  • Employee motivation will increase together with overall productivity
  • Employees will be more likely to become company ambassadors, which will attract new talent.

 

How do you implement symmetry of attention?

While this concept may seem simple on the surface, implementing it is not so straightforward. Here are some tips to help you improve both the employee experience and customer relations.

Become a model manager for your team

Symmetry of attention is based on the theory of reciprocity. It is quite logical in the sense that a person tends to copy the behavior they have been shown. An employee who is respected and listened to will pay more attention to their customers.

This means that the manager’s role is at the heart of the process. They are the backbone of any service transformation approach. The manager is a guide who sets the standard by showing the right attitude to have. Together with the support of human resources, the manager will create a positive work environment. They will be responsible for explaining the importance of contributing to an excellent customer experience.

Implementing symmetry of attention requires a certain amount of exemplary management, and it may mean an overhaul of the company’s culture. It is therefore crucial to help managers manage their teams through training, evaluations, and surveys.

Improve the quality of life at work

Employee satisfaction is achieved through various commitment factors which generally improve the quality of life at work. Feeling happy at work is not only about the relationship with the hierarchy and colleagues. There are many other ways to boost employee motivation such as providing the right work tools, professional development opportunities, job security and assigning interesting tasks.

In this case, the important thing is to place the idea of goodwill, listening and communication at the heart of the project. Employees must be treated as full-fledged contributors to the company’s strategy. It is also essential to grant them maximum autonomy and responsibility in their tasks so that they can be empowered and gain confidence in themselves.

Use artificial intelligence in customer service

Would you like to provide your employees with the best tools? In our increasingly digital world, a combination of human and artificial intelligence is now considered necessary to not only help your employees on a daily basis, but also improve the quality of their service. Whether it’s predictive analysis, product and service suggestions, handling non-value-added requests, or training and onboarding, using modern technologies can make your advisors’ lives easier!

Why not implement a chatbot or a callbot in your customer service department? These conversational robots establish initial contact with customers or prospects via a website, a mobile app, or over the phone. They can be customized and programmed, understanding both written and spoken questions. They can provide information directly to customers, sometimes bypassing the need for a human agent. The advantage for customers is that these bots are available 24/7 with almost no waiting time. These are tools that will save your teams precious time, giving them more time to focus on value-added tasks!

* Consideration Symmetry is a registered trademark of the Académie du Service.