Customer reviews, focus groups, product testing, CRM data… brands have never had so much data about their customers. But there’s a secret army in waiting at every organisation that can bring a whole new perspective on the customer to help deliver exactly what they’re is looking for - the employees.
Retail staff, customer service agents and even finance teams all have frequent communication with customers. Real, face-to-face communication that’s not hidden away behind the one-way glass of a focus group.
And in many organisations, their voice goes unheard.
Staff on the front lines see everything. They live every day through the customer’s eyes, dealing with everyone from your most ardent fans to your biggest promoters.
Adding their perspective to your already rich pool of customer data can help identify gaps in your brand experience and start to make the connection between what you designed the brand experience to be and what your customers perceive.
Listening creates a culture of trust and transparency
Incorporating staff feedback into your product, brand or marketing strategy gives everyone skin in the game. It helps to create an open and transparent culture where everyone feels their input is valid and that they’re having a say in the future success of the organisation.
With that openness and transparency comes a sense of ownership. So when you deploy your next promotion, new product or brand initiative to your front line teams, they’re already engaged and ready to help make it a success.
Engaged staff deliver better results too. The Harvard Business Review recently highlighted a number of studies that reveal firms with low employee engagement can experience up to 18 per cent lower productivity, 16 per cent lower profitability and 65 per cent lower share price.
Your staff are the living, breathing embodiment of your brand. Those companies that are most successful in developing iconic brands are those who carry the experience all the way through from product development all the way through to the interactions staff have with customers.
Customers don’t see the silos - so why have them?
For many organisations, the core experiences on which their business relies are managed in silos. The CX team looks after the Voice of Customer program, R&D looks after the product experience, marketing owns the brand experience and HR owns the employee experience.
But customers don’t see the silos. It’s all part of the same experience - fall down or drop a ball on any one of those and the whole organisation is tarnished with the same brush.
It’s why more and more organisations are bringing it together are breaking down the silos to incorporate employee and customer feedback into one overarching experience management program.
Today’s marketers understand the value of employee feedback and are applying the same approach to their employee experience as they do the customer experience.
They’re getting their input on new products, services and initiatives to add a new layer to their customer data and they’re using the same technology to monitor and optimise the experience for their staff.
The result? Brands and products developed with the input of those people who know customers best and a workforce that’s engaged and empowered to bring the experience all the way through to the frontline where consumers see it most.
If the customer is king, then the employee is the private secretary – the principal channel of communication and the most senior of operational members of marketing’s royal household. The combination makes for a formidable team, identifying those unknown gaps and unexpected relationships that create the ultimate experience for your staff and your customers.