Gallup annually surveys nearly 150,000 employees across North America to measure how engaged they are with their jobs. Unfortunately, over half of those surveyed admit to being disengaged at work and almost twenty percent are actively working against what the organization is trying to achieve.
These are alarming statistics for leaders who recognize that engaged employees play a critical role in delivering great customer experiences. Notwithstanding the many digital channels customers have to interact with an organization, every personal interaction customers have with employees can have a powerful impact on creating the emotional bond and connection companies need to build long-term customer relationships.
Customer-centric companies with great customer experiences are twice as likely to have engaged employees. Engaged employees are deeply committed to the success of the organization. They serve as strong advocates for the company and are more productive. They have lower absenteeism rates and higher safety and quality standards.
Employees take great pride in working for an organization that treats customers well. However, without the proper support, processes and systems to do great work, employees often struggle to deliver on customer expectations.
Here are five essential factors needed for employees to thrive:
- Hire the right people. Recruiting employees who are capable of doing the job is the number one responsibility of the management team.
- Provide employees with the right tools and training to solve customer problems. Employees need the right processes, systems, and training to be effective.
- Share customer feedback and expectations widely. Be very specific about customer expectations and what matters most to customers across all roles within the organization.
- Ask for employee feedback. Seeking input from employees about the customer experience sends a powerful message about the importance of their role in delivering on expectations.
- Praise employees generously. Feeling appreciated energizes employees and encourages them to do great work.
A customer’s brand perception is highly dependent on the experience with employees. Front-line employees bring a company’s brand to life. Every single customer touch or experience has the potential to enhance or diminish the power and value of a brand. Customer-centric leaders know that an engaged employee workforce is critical to long-term success and prosperity.