To Improve Customer Experience, Improve Employee Engagement


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

2016 has had its share of customer experience challenges—airline system outages, tainted burrito ingredients, and exploding balancing scooters. How can corporate chiefs allow an environment in which checks and balances don’t catch these mistakes? Are the values that leaders hold misaligned with what matters to employees?

Content marketers are getting more sophisticated in how they build audiences and create emotional connections between customers/prospects and their brand. But increasing revenue takes more than external delight. It requires companies to ensure they have internal teams in place with the mindset, talents, and passion to keep the promises that marketing makes come alive. The only way to have certainty is to focus as much on the corporate culture through employee engagement as we do on customer engagement.

Here’s how Gallup defines the three tiers of employees. Engaged employees work with passion, feel a profound connection to their company, drive innovation, and move the organization forward. Not-engaged employees are essentially “checked out”—sleepwalking through their workday and putting time, but not energy or passion, into their work. Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work, they’re busy acting out their unhappiness—undermining what their engaged co-workers accomplish.

With about 69% of employees either not engaged or actively disengaged with their work, it becomes clear how companies stumble so drastically.

Engaged employees understand the impact of their actions. That can mean working across departments to develop seamless service, creating innovative approaches to doing business, or proactively helping customers solve problems. With an estimated $450 to $500 billion dollars lost in productivity a year through disengaged employees, paying attention to what matters to employees is a must.

What does all of this mean for content marketers? Plenty. According to Gallup, 41% of all employees don’t know what their company stands for or what makes it different from everyone else in the marketplace. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to engage audiences, educate them, deliver value, and drive revenue. We assume “audience” means people external to our company. However, if we expand that idea to include employees, we can apply the same content marketing strategy to engage them.

Educating employees and curing the gap of understanding is where content marketing comes into play. It’s time that we dedicate an equal amount of time internally as we do externally to connect with audiences. This means making the investment to educate employees on the value of what our company delivers, why we’re different, and how to make that story come to life.

Employees perform based on what’s measured, rewarded, and celebrated. How well do we tell the story of what matters to our company to the people who create and deliver experiences to customers? Unless employees know, understand, and believe in what our company stands for, they’ll never be engaged. And disengaged employees will never deliver delightful customer experiences.

Take one of the icons of good customer experience: Disney. Dubbed “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disney has happy, engaged people who are serious about delivering phenomenal experiences for their customers. It understands that engaged employees deliver better service, which increases customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers become repeat customers and referral sources for new business.

Day in and day out, Disney consistently builds employee engagement so cast members (the title every employee holds) become passionate about creating amazing experiences for customers. By consistently educating, celebrating, and rewarding employees for exhibiting the principles of the brand—safety, courtesy, efficiency, and showmanship—Disney puts employees first, so that they, in turn, want to put customers first.