Enterprises everywhere want to build loyalty so strong that customers won’t switch providers and will pay a premium for their products or services. Those goals might seem lofty, but many organizations are doing just that. The question is: How?
The answer: customer experience and employee engagement can beat out a superior competing product. These are not just “warm and fuzzy” aspects of running a business. They directly impact the buyer on a personal level. Various studies show that customer experience and employee engagement have a material impact on the top and bottom line. Before I discuss the data, I’ll share a personal experience.
I’m an aspiring triathlete and avid gym-goer. Even though another gym is closer to my house and has the newest high-tech equipment, I work out farther away, at an older facility, and I pay twice as much. Why? The staff at my gym is committed to their mission, which is to improve my well-being. Ryan leads an Xtreme Fit class that really kicks my butt, and you can tell he takes a lot of pride in challenging his students. Carol the spin instructor asks about my training and offers tips to help improve my triathlon times. They are not just doing their job. They clearly embrace the gym’s (hospital-affiliated, care-inspired) mission to improve its clients’ health. The mission of the other, closer gym with superior equipment and more physically appealing staff appears to be to sell as many memberships as possible, and then sell supplements, personal training and workout clothes.
Business leaders that focus on customer experience and employee engagement really do have an economic advantage. Experts have proven it:
- A Gallup survey found that companies with high employee engagement have 18% higher productivity and 12% higher profitability, among other benefits, compared to their peers with lower employee engagement.
- Bain & Company found a correlation between customer experience and growth rates across industries. Leaders, with high Net Promoter Scores, had strong growth, while laggards often had flat or negative growth.
- Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Trends in Global Engagement study found that the best scoring employee engagement employers outperform average ones in revenue growth, operating margin and total shareholder return.
To get these results, large, global enterprises must foster employee engagement and drive improvements in their customer experience. It all starts with effective leadership communication of the mission, values, and strategic priorities.