In today’s unpredictable and disruptive times, profitability and growth for businesses is crucial. Rapid technological advances have reduced the life span of products. With increasing competition, companies are focusing on efforts to differentiate themselves in the mind space of the consumer. “Customer is the King” is an adage that is still relevant today. Campaigns and activities are tailored to entice more customers and to garner positive customer experience. The ones who are pivotal in delivering this effectively is the employee of the organization. It goes without saying that every employee is impacted by the experiences at their workplace. So will a good employee experience translate to good customer experience? The answer is “YES”!
It is seen that there is an undeniable link between employee experience and customer experience. Companies that lead in customer experience have 60% more engaged employees, and study after study has shown that investing in employee experience impacts the customer experience and can generate a high ROI for the company. (Courtesy: Blake Morgan; https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/02/23/the-un-ignorable-link-between-employee-experience-and-customer-experience/#c52e3b548dc1 )This article in Forbes magazine also highlights that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%. Examples of the same can be seen globally and pan India too. Starbucks a world renowned chain spends a considerable amount of time, effort and money on training its employees to make their famous beverages and interact with customers to engage them positively. They give their employees competitive wages, stock options, and health benefits amongst other employee engagement measures. Thus, this has resulted in customers rating their experience in Starbucks as the ‘best’ and has consistently helped the company grow in size. Airbnb also follows its mission statement, “Belong Anywhere” which includes creating a flexible work culture for its employees so that they have a good work-life balance. This has increased their levels of satisfaction and consecutively, created better customer experiences.(Courtesy: Blake Morgan; https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/02/23/the-un-ignorable-link-between-employee-experience-and-customer-experience/#c52e3b548dc1)
Closer home, if we Google the top best companies in India that give a good customer experience and the top companies to work for, we inevitably come up with lists that mirror each other. In the banking sector, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank feature in both these lists and this sentiment is also echoed by customers who have rated their experiences with these banks as “Good”. These banks are also well known to have an employee oriented culture that helps in boosting their growth. Similarly with e-retailers like Amazon and Flipkart. They are very competitive to get in and people vie to work in these organizations. Customer experience surveys also rate them to be at or above par as compared to their competitors. Hospitality industry leaders such as JW Mariott and Oberoi Hotels are famous for superlative customer experiences. Oberoi Hotels are also known for awarding employees who find a mention in the Leading Quality Assurance (LQA) reports for delivering exceptional service and adhering to the service standards with the title ‘LQA Champ’. This is over and above other benefits given to employees. (Courtesy: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/indias-best-companies-to-work-for-and-why/articleshow/64822862.cms?from=mdr) Marriott International founder J.W. Marriott said, “Take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers.” This is still practiced at the organization. Employees are taken care of which makes them want to give their best to their guests. Marriott publicly rewards employees for a job well done, celebrates diversity and inclusion, values loyalty, and offers a wide variety of training rograms. It has been regularly rated as a top place to work and a top company for customer experience. (Courtesy: Blake Morgan https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/02/23/the-un-ignorable-link-between-employee-experience-and-customer-experience/#c52e3b548dc1).
So what factors result in heightened employee experience? Studies show that factors like ‘opportunities for career growth and leadership development’, ‘pride in the organization’s brand’, ‘its ability to attract talent’, ‘a strong sense of community with colleagues’, ‘fair evaluation of performance’, ‘egalitarian treatment’, ‘alignment with the key goals of the organization’ and ‘management integrity and ethical business practices’ are main aspects that give employees a heightened experience at the workplace. (Courtesy: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/indias-best-companies-to-work-for-and-why/articleshow/64822862.cms?from=mdr). Employees also look for a stress free workplace and one where they are given time to cater to their personal needs. So, with the battle for top talent at an all-time high, and with people staying at jobs for shorter periods of time, recruiting the best and the brightest and figuring out how to keep them around is top of mind for HR pros and senior leaders at companies of all sizes. (Courtesy: https://fowmedia.com/stats-linking-employee-experience-to-customer-experience). Hence, the battleground has now shifted inside a company’s own workspace where they are investing more in creating a corporate culture that takes care of their workforce. When an employee feels that they are an integral part of the organization, they own their responsibility, they take pride in what they do. This then translates to them giving the customers a better experience and results in better productivity.
In conclusion, from 1998 to 2016, companies that ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list outperformed the market by nearly 5% each year. (Courtesy: https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2019/04/22/employee-experience-equals-customer-experience).This finding hits the nail on the head that employee experience definitely equals customer experience.