A critical driver of outstanding customer experiences are engaged employees. Many organisations that top the league tables for customer experience are also in the top 100 companies to work for. It’s not just a great product and customer driven processes that create great customer experiences. 70% of the experience is meeting the emotional needs of the customer (to feel cared for, valued, excited, special, welcomed and happy) and making those positive emotional connections with customers won’t happen without engaged staff – staff who understand how to identify, manage and meet customer expectations and are fully committed to delivering great experiences.
There are many business reasons to focus on your employee experience; attracting and retaining the best staff, higher productivity, increased customer loyalty and higher profitability. And candidates today go to great lengths to research you using social media and employer feedback sites such as Glassdoor.com, Jobcrowd.co.uk, so delivering a great internal experience is vital.
There is no one size fits all for achieving the perfect employee experience. It’s about what’s appropriate for the needs of your organisation, your customers and your employees. Four common themes emerge though from extensive research captured in the Engaging for Success report (also known as The MacLeod Report).
Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going. Staff need to feel connected to the meaning of their work and how what they do affects the customer experience.
Engaging managers who treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people, create realistic service standards and regularly celebrate success.
Employee voice for reinforcing and challenging views across all functions with employees is seen as central to the solution. Employees want to help improve the organisation if their input is appreciated.
There is organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. There is no ‘say –do’ gap.
This is a good place to start to assess your organisation’s performance in the area of employee engagement. In our experience, most people want to work for an organisation that delivers great customer experiences. When training and coaching customer experience across different organisations the one thing we find that all employees seek from their employers is that they care about them. So do something today to show you care about your staff and they will take good care of your customers.
For more on entering the UK Employee Experience Awards, including a full list of categories and sponsors, see our website: http://e-x-a.co.uk/ or contact Lisa Bailey on: +44 (0) 1223 911755 , or email Lisa at email@example.com.
Follow the Awards on twitter @UKEXAwards
Anne Blackburn, Customer Experience Director, Sidona Group
Anne Blackburn is Founder of Sidona Group who specialise in customer experience strategy, research and training to help organisations create and deliver more unique, memorable and profitable customer experiences. She helps teams identify and meet guest’s emotional needs and tailor their experiences with the right blend of attitude, behaviours, language and skills to create marvellous memories. Memories create stories and stories drive revenue and customer advocates.
Anne specialises in the Guest Experience and is a regular speaker at international hospitality industry events including The Boutique Hotel Conference, The Independent Hotel Show, Hospitality Exchange, The Hospitality Show, Hotelympia, The Hotel Design and Management Conference.
Anne is also a regular columnist for Hotel Industry Magazine, Caterer and Hotel Keeper, Travel Trade Gazette, Boutique Hotelier, Big Hospitality and Customer Experience Magazine.
Anne is also a judge for Visit England Tourism Awards, Boutique Hotel Awards, Customer Service Training Awards and Customer Experience Awards.