Founder & CEO Beyond Philosophy
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The five types of employee that help or hinder your customer experiences


Most employees fall into one of five categories. Some can benefit your customer experiences, but some can sabotage them too. 

7th Apr 2021
Founder & CEO Beyond Philosophy
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How committed are you to your present employer? Are you wild about what you do or simply content in your position? Do you hate your job or are you ambivalent?

It’s an important set of questions to consider. How you feel about where you work has a lot of influence on the job you are doing there.

This concept becomes even more crucial when you become a manager and assess your team - especially as it pertains to how they work with or on behalf of customers. In our global customer experience consultancy, we find most employees fall into one of five commitment categories for employees.

  1. Employee ambassadors (advocates)
  2. Positive loyalists
  3. Indifferents
  4. Disinterested seatfillers
  5. Employee saboteurs

Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Employee ambassadors: These employees are the most active in advocating for the company and its brand promise. Employee ambassadors are upbeat in their behavior and communication. Moreover, they don’t just advocate to their friends and family (and the bloke they met in the pub), but also to the other employees. They share a strong commitment to both the organisation and its customers.
  • Positive loyalists: People who fit in this commitment category have positive feelings about their job. Positive loyalists are emotionally engaged with the company, sharing a favorable opinion of it overall. They are loyal, committed to staying with the company, and consistently perform well in their jobs. Although they do not advocate for the company like ambassadors, when positive loyalists do communicate about their jobs, the message is positive.
  • Indifferents: As the name implies, employees that feel a general satisfaction with their employer but not much more fall into this category. While Indifferents are content with the company on the whole - including their relationship to their employer and the products it produces—they are ambivalent about their advocacy. Indifferents rarely share positive communication about the company and never on a consistent basis.  
  • Disinterested seatfillers: People that lack emotional engagement with a company are the disinterested seatfillers. Because they lack interest in their job and have no kinship with the company and its brand promise, they do not talk about work, internally or externally. Disinterested seatfillers think of work as “just a job,” and that’s about it.
  • Employee saboteurs: These are your toxic employees. They draw a paycheck, to be sure, but they are not working at your organisation. In fact, employee saboteurs are actively working against an organisation. They are advocates, but negative ones, often complaining about the organisation to other employees, their friends and family, the bloke they met at the pub, and, perhaps worst of all, customers.

Leverage the power of employee ambassadors

From these descriptions, it is clear that having your fair share of employee ambassadors is a great thing for your customer experience. I always say that happy employees make happy customers, but I might amend that in this case to say, employee ambassadors make happy employees and happy customers. However, employee ambassadors tend to be around 20% of your staff. That means the remaining 80% could be in any of the other four categories. If a lot of this 80% fall into employee saboteurs, that’s not going to do anything great for your customer experience.

The majority of your employees, however, likely fall into the middle three categories. Millennials, which since 2015 have been the largest generation in the workforce, reported in a Gallup poll that only 29% of them felt engaged at their jobs, leaving nearly three-quarters of them not-engaged - or worse!

It is crucial that you leverage the positive influence of your employee ambassadors to improve your relationship with the positive loyalists, indifferents, and disinterested seatfillers. With their help, you can retain your best employees and possibly move some of the less engaged workers into a better category for your customer experience than their present one.

As for the employee saboteurs, the best thing you can do for your organisation and your customer experience is to fire this lot straightaway!

How you feel about your job has a lot to do with how good of a job you do. It’s true for you, and it’s true for your employees. Moreover, these feelings about a job have a lot to do with the customer experience you deliver. Ensure that you help your worst employees move on and leverage the influence you have from your best and most engaged employees, the employee ambassadors. Happy employees might make happy customers but employee ambassadors make both.


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