Gallup just recently published its 2013 State of the American Workplace Report. Have you seen it? It’s a doozy, and I’m afraid it doesn’t paint a great picture for how things are going in our organizations. The report says that 70% hate their jobs or are disengaged. Yikes.
The report is a good read, so check it out, but what interested me most was a section on the customer experience and in particular how HR and leaders can help to enhance it by turning employees into more effective brand ambassadors.
Here are the ten steps Gallup recommends:
- Acknowledge that all employees play a key role in bringing the brand to life.
- Audit your internal communications to ensure that they are consistent with your brand identity and promise.
- Articulate what your brand represents and what you promise to your customers.
- Deploy simple processes to ensure that you highlight and discuss the core elements of your company’s brand identity every day.
- Use simple tools such as wallet cards as ready references to the brand, and require employees to memorize the key brand elements.
- Regularly assess how well your employees know and understand your brand promise.
- Ensure that new employees understand your brand identity and promise.
- Make sure that every employee understands how his or her job affects the customer experience.
- Recognize employees who deliver your brand promise to your customers.
- Regularly solicit opinions from your employees on new and better ways to deliver your brand promise.
I think these ten steps from Gallup can really be boiled down to three solid concepts.
- Empower Your Employees
You want your employees to be great brand ambassadors, but are you really giving them the tools to do that? Educate them on what the brand means. Give them practicable ways to understand and live the brand. Encourage and reward creative thinking. Give employees the power and accountability to make decisions.
- Communicate Effectively
Are your employees active participants in the dialogue around customer service? Get the word out there in simple but memorable ways about how you expect employees to act. Get employees’ input on ways to make the customer experience better—they are on the front lines and the best observers you have. Make sure you’re practicing what you preach.
- Create a Positive Feedback Loop
Are you ensuring consistent improvement by reinforcing and rewarding great customer service? Check in on your employees and keep them on track. Make sure you are paying attention and offering feedback on what is going wrong AND what is going right. Recognize and reward great behavior.
Gallup is always a solid source for workforce analytics, so you can be sure that following this formula will help your employees practice your brand and create a better experience for your customers!