It is no secret that your employees are the single most critical element in determining business success. But, let’s pause for a moment and consider why and how this works in the realm of customer experience.
When customers interact directly with your employees, they can tell if an employee is engaged with their work and how they feel about you – their boss and the company they work for. That engagement is infectious. Whether positive or negative, your customers’ experiences with your company depend upon the vibe that the employees give out.
Three critical components influence the quality of employee interactions with customers: company culture, employee engagement and employee well being.
Company Culture – The Driver of Hidden Employee Behavior
The structure of company culture can be created, but it cannot be controlled. It’s critical that leadership recognize the value culture has on their employees and their company. But more impactful than the culture itself is the employee’s comprehension and true understanding of the culture. Company culture must be aligned throughout the organization or it will erode the second management is not visible. In some respects, culture takes on a life all its own. When culture is unaligned, employees require constant reminders to do the right thing.
This unaligned culture is unsustainable according to the Temkin Group, a leading customer experience research, consulting and training firm that recently announced eight customer experience trends for 2015. Among Temkin’s list is the recommendation to hold corporate culture conversations between leadership and employees. Understanding what company culture feels like requires authenticity and transparency. When an employee can truly feel the culture, they act dynamically in any situation that arises to deliver their personal best
Employee “Dis” Engagement Causes Customer “Dis” Loyalty
Employee engagement is not a new concept. Most companies know employee engagement is a critical factor in overall success. We often like to focus on the positive side of employee engagement and the percentage of our associates who are actively and passionately engaged in our businesses. But what if we stop and think about those who are not?
A Zendesk study found 62 percent of customers purchased more after a positive experience, while 66 percent stopped making purchases after just one negative experience. And it doesn’t stop there: 95 percent of study respondents who had a bad experience reported telling someone else about it, and 50 percent posted about the negative experience on social media. Simply put, unengaged employees are delivering poor customer service, resulting in negative experiences that others hear about.
Employee Wellbeing Is Directly Linked to Customer Experience Outcomes
There are five elements to employee wellbeing: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. A 2014 Gallup study found an employee’s well being boosts their work performance and is beneficial for the company and its clients. The study reveals the benefits of combining employee engagement with employee wellbeing, stating the two accelerate the success of one another by enhancing employee’s lives, maximizing productivity and boosting company performance.
The professional services company Gallup studied customers of workgroups with high engagement and high wellbeing to find:
- 17 percent more likely to say the professional services company had a significant impact on their performance
- 21 percent more likely to say the company shared knowledge with them
- 24 percent more likely to say the company had resolved their problems
- 20 percent more likely to say the company delivered on its promises
- 24 percent more likely to perceive that the company was committed to accuracy and quality
Customers want to engage with businesses that have employees who are passionate about their work. It is easy for them to differentiate between engaged employees and those who are not. By working to build a solid company culture and employee engagement and well being within your workforce, you will ensure you are not losing business based on poor customer experiences, but building customer experiences that lead to your customers referring you to others – the ultimate compliment that leads to long-term business success.