Can Employee Ambassadorship Create the Same Results As Optimizing Customer Experience?


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In an extremely well-attended employee ambassadorship and customer experience optimization webinar recently facilitated by my colleague, Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy, and me – – we received a number of really excellent questions from participants. Because we were limited on time, here are some of the questions attendees asked, and the responses we have provided post webinar.

1. Should C-suite enable a culture of employee empowerment to allow employee and customer to work together?

Some organizations actively bring customers into the center of the enterprise. If there is good management and teamwork, with value built-in for all participants, collaboration, on an array of possible customer-focused issues, can be very successful. C-suite would be well-advised not only to enable a culture which builds partnerships with customers, but should encourage and actively promote it.

2. How do you get the Executive team and managers to embrace this philosophy when the team keeps asking but no changes are made?

Nothing breeds success like success. Getting the executive team to invest in small pilot, and test and control, projects, whether with employee research, training, communication, process modification, reward and recognition, etc. will demonstrate the value of an ambassadorship approach and mindset. Then, broader programs can be built on the success of the initial pilot programs.

3. I would like to understand more about the link between employee attitude/behavior and customer experience.

There have been a number of professional and academic studies, in multiple industries, linking employee attitudes and behaviors with the value customers perceive in their experiences. Some results were presented during the webinar, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Through targeted research, and resultant training, communication, process, and reward and recognition programs, ambassadorship formalizes the direction employee engagement has been trending toward for years: optimizing employee commitment to the organization and its goals, to the company’s unique value proposition, and to the customer relationship. So, while the ambassadorship research framework does include questions on job satisfaction and belief in the organization, the core is really about specific employee behaviors and a set of beliefs based on experience as a staff member.

4. Is focus on ambassadorship creating the same results as focusing on customer experience?

This is a classic chicken-and-egg question, i.e. does focusing on the employee generate as much benefit for the organization as enhancing the customer experience; and there is ongoing debate about which should be the principal consideration, along with value creation, for an enterprise. Entire books, in fact, have been written on this subject (such as The Customer Comes Second by Hal Rosenbluth and Diane Peters). There is general agreement that both should receive high priority and emphasis if an enterprise is going to be successful at driving more positive employee and customer engagement. In sum, what the ambassadorship concept mandates, however, is that having employees focus on the customer will definitely drive more positive experiences and stronger loyalty behavior.

Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC
Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC, specializes in customer and employee experience research/strategy consulting, and brand, customer, and employee commitment and advocacy behavior research, consulting, and training. He has authored seven stakeholder-centric strategy books and 400+ articles, white papers and blogs. In 2018, he was named to CustomerThink's Hall of Fame.


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