For the past week I have spent considerable thought on how and why marketing is broken (more on that later this week) and why it’s imperative to understand the challenges so that we, as marketing and communications employees, can fix what ails business today. Many businesses and their employees often have misperceived notions that they know what is best for their customers, even when case study after case study show why that philosophy is broken. In reality what they think is best for their customers is really just a short-term plan for what is best for them—their bottom line. Then, there are companies that truly understand why customers need to be at the center of their organization and they use that philosophy steadfastly to prosper year-after-year. Do these companies possess a magic bullet? Of course not. They succeed because they plan to provide the best customer experience—repeatedly. And that planning starts with their employees.
Customer Experience Snack: Is your trusting cup half full, or half empty? Why believing your employees fuels your prosperity engine.
“Wegmans trusts their employees because they select them with diligence and with clear success factors in mind. Then they prepare them for success – so that they can trust both their judgment and the skills that Wegmans has to develop. To enable employee belief, Wegmans invests up to 40 hours a year per person in training and career development. This enables this company to “throw out the rule book” and believe in employees’ ability to make judgment calls that are right for each customized customer situation. The only “rule” there: ‘No customer can walk away unhappy.’”
“Employees love this kind of environment—and their numbers show it. Within their industry, Wegmans has dramatically lower employee turnover rates, higher operating margins and 50% higher sales per square foot.”
(I can tell you as a Wegmans customer this philosophy has made me come to love food shopping! Seriously.)
Customer Experience Matters: The 6 Laws of Customer Experience (eBook)
“…While you can make some customers happy through brute force, you cannot sustain great customer experience unless your employees are bought-in to what you’re doing and are aligned with the effort. If employees have low morale, then getting them to “wow” customers will be nearly impossible.”
“Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees.”(as quoted from the Harvard Business Review).
Customer Think: The Customer Experience Planning Gap
“Management may plan one thing but different employees approach issues differently.”
“What businesses fail to understand is that a deliberate and consistent Customer Experience is the only way to customer loyalty and advocacy. Let’s say that people are generally satisfied with one company but know that the experience depends upon who they are going to meet there. Will they recommend it to someone?! No, because they will put their name to it only if they have seen consistent excellence not that there is a 70% chance of a good service.”
Beyond Philosophy: Lessons from the Milgram Experiment
“The purpose of the experiment is to show how people will adhere authority, follow orders and give a lethal electric shock to a person despite being able to hear their excruciating screams. What has this got to do with the Customer Experience? We know the subconscious experience is very powerful in a Customer Experience.”
“From a leadership perspective, you need to consider how you act, behave and are perceived… If you are a leader are you sending out subconscious signals to your employees so they don’t tell you want they really think? If you are an employee do you have the courage of your convictions to tell the truth.
A few challenges for you to mull over….
- What are the subconscious signals you are giving to your Customers?
- What could you do to provide a great Customer Experience?
- Are you really listening [to] the people that know what is going on?
- Are you speaking out about what is right and wrong with your Customer Experience or just following the herd?”
Happy reading and watching!