Part 7 of our series on Goals for CX Management
Employees are one of a company’s two greatest assets. They are the customer facing ‘faces’ that influence how customers behave.
Like customer experience, employee engagement has become a top priority for management. A 2013 Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Report of 558 executives found that 72% say employee engagement is very important. Those that saw employee engagement as a high priority also reported that it impacts customer satisfaction in very favorable ways.
Alfrid Lin, former COO of Zappos, notes that “Zappos was built on the simple premise that to have happy customers, we need happy employees. To have happy employees, we need a great company culture. The success of Zappos demonstrates the linkage between company culture and employee engagement to company success. Our motto of ‘Deliver Happiness’ for customers and employees was also good for our business and investors.”
Unfortunately, there is also widespread evidence that employee engagement globally is on the low side. Organizations have a significant challenge to overcome the malaise that resides in the corporate world-getting employees engaged is part of the staging for better customer experience. Fully engaged employees are those who think and feel positively about your brand and behave in a manner congruent with those thoughts and feelings. Gallup, in their annual global engagement studies found that employee engagement is a predictor of business performance, specifically on customer ratings, profitability and productivity. Engaged employees are aligned with the brand and can influence customers to spend more and become brand advocates.
Our research (the tables shown here) with a global professional organization over many years has demonstrated a significant positive correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. The organization’s performance metrics—new member acquisition and new member retention—has outperformed it peers.
Customers’ demands for superior value from goods and services they purchase are unprecedented. They become more empowered and more perceptive in their judgment. We have entered a relatively new stage in the life of business where the focus on the customer is growing and necessary. And customers are demanding that attention.
The risks and uncertainties have escalated, and in many ways, so have the rewards for developing strategies that deliver superior value. In this blog series, I assert that the path to creating customer lifetime value requires a very thoughtful exploration of the six strategic imperatives to build an engine that engages customers in ways that positively influences the health of businesses. It would behoove executives to begin their customer experience strategy by first focusing on the imperatives presented above, have these in place, and then journey on a path of identifying and implementing customer experience solutions.
Best Practice Questions to Ask Your Organization
- Are our associates engaged? How would we know?
- Can we demonstrate the value of engagement?
- Have we designed a customer centric culture?
- Do associates feel empowered to make spontaneous choices to support customer recovery efforts?
- Do we measure and track our organization’s Customer Centricity Score?