There are a number of factors when it comes to delivering a successful customer experience – you’ll hear some or all the latest and greatest marketing and strategic buzz words at the given moment: “brand”, “big data”, design, content, loyalty, satisfaction, “NPS” (Net Promoter Score), research, customer service, relationship, etc.
All that being said, the single biggest factor in the success of a customer’s experience is your employees. Those in the know have dubbed it “employee engagement” – and it is little wonder why it means so much.
While marketers will go on about “brand” and its importance on a seemingly endless loop, in reality, a vast majority of consumers spent an infinitesimal amount of time thinking about a company’s brand other than when it is front of them; and then deciding if they want to part with their hard-earned money to buy your product or your competitors – if they buy anything at all.
Conversely, your employees are living and breathing your brand (and hopefully how to make it better), 8+ hours a day, 5+ days a week. Some are on the front-line – interacting with customers online, in-person and on the telephone — taking feedback (and complaints), marketing and selling your latest product lines.
A vast majority of them are in the background – in the R&D labs, the strategy and marketing departments, building out of the website and company infrastructure, making sure the employees and bills get paid, etc.
How do you do Employee Engagement “right?” – A sports analogy
Some will say “engagement training” is the best way forward, some might call it a “basic HR function” at its heart, some might say one has to “develop a comprehensive manual” for every situation – sure those are all pieces to the puzzle – but it is a big, complicated brainteaser that requires a lot of insight, feedback and contemplation to even get on the right path to start fixing it.
Effective employee engagement is like a good sports team – it doesn’t just solely focus on the individual; but looks at the organisation, culture, values as a whole and takes them into account when it is time for the rubber to hit the road.
Initially, you have to look at the organisation and how it operates, behaves and makes decisions — the drivers of “how, why, where, what” etc..
What is the end goal at the completion of each work day/week/year — for not only the company but the individuals entrusted with setting and reaching those visionary heights?
At its heart, customer experience is all about delivering the right items to the customer in a timely fashion, at the right price and to a level of satisfaction that you hope you meet their expectations, but also that they come back again – and hopefully bring a friend or three along.
However, you can’t accomplish the end goal if you don’t have the right building blocks in place. All the talk in the world about “putting customers first” in the spectrum of the business – but you also have to make money, appease shareholders and enrich the lives of your employees in the time that they are at work – so that they stick around and use their experiences to improve the company as a whole enterprise.
Now it is not about spamming your employees with a number of surveys and asking them to set a numerical value on how much value they derive from working with/for you. Over the next few articles, we’ll look at singular components of the “employee engagement” arena, and discuss the possibilities of what works or may not work within the context of your organisation…looking forward to it