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Meet Barry. Each morning Barry walks into work. A blurry eyed stare and an expression that warns if you ‘ask me how I am’ this morning you’ll likely get a FML response. Barry hasn’t always been like this. Just to get him into work mode each morning he treats himself to a supersonic dose of taurine and caffeine in a can. All to simply find a morsel of motivation to log on.  

After 4 years of dealing with a reporting that line that won’t listen, a micro manager directly above him and a macro manager who finds a way to make everything their idea, Barry has been crushed into towing the line. Just getting paid to be there and get through the days of turmoil.

It’s a far cry from when he first started. He had a flurry of ideas. The more he spoke to customers the more opportunity he saw to really improve things for them and for everyone around him. To strive for some positive results by helping those they serve. But time and time again Barry was reminded of the real purpose of going to work and that was “shareholder value”. Ba-bum! Since then its been clock in, but mentally check out.  

What I’ve described her is an amalgamation of examples I’ve experienced or watched others experience. There’s a graveyard of unhappy employee experience I’ve seen over my career and I want to share this with you today because this is not a happy place. Your staff don’t want to be at work and as such they loose their connection with each other but more importantly with YOUR customers. Happy staff deliver many benefits but none surpass the direct correlation to delivering happy customers.

Happiness and kindness is contagious and it effects every organisations bottom dollar.  

Olivia O’Connor

Can Barry in his disengaged state deliver the outstanding experience you are hoping for with your customers? Ding, ding, ding…. No is the answer.  

Your EX…. (no not your past lover that still checks your profile on FaceBook,) your Employee Experience directly relates to improving your CX. Your Customer Experience. Unhappy employees will do their job, but they won’t go the extra to go out of their way to improve things and they won’t go out of their way for your customers. They’ll tick a box and get the job done but you need more than that to stand out in today’s marketplace.  

Think of the greater good you’d do if Barry instead was able to be a part of a project that required him to talk to and connect with customers to bring about fresh new ideas and then collaborate across the organisation and include others in a journey that delivers customer fulfilment. We are talking about multiple touchpoints of human connection that would exist. And human connection is what drives purpose and the mastery of our skills.  

Support your team with a positive experience. Value them and support them to develop their strengths and capabilities and let them work to surprise and delight your customers.  

OK so if you’re an analytical type you want some evidence over simply here-say. How do we know EX has a positive effect on CX, beyond just making flat out common sense, that is?  

How about we look at some university studies:  

Here are some essential pointers identified in a study by Northwestern University – Linking Organizational Characteristics to Employee Attitudes and Behaviour 

  • There is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and improved financial performance
  • In the end, customers who are more satisfied with an organization’s products are less expensive to serve, use the product more, and, hence, are more profitable customers. 

The list goes on but let’s just say I’ve summarised the nature of a long whitepaper for you.  

Not enough?  

Here’s some stats presented visually by Hays Group global:

Oh ok I’m sensing you liked that one.  

Here’s another stat graphic to get us to a slam dunk. This one is by Mercer Global Advisory.   

So by now I hope we’re on the same page and you’re asking HOW do we get started to aligning EX and our CX?   

In an article by Forbes it outlines the direct connection between EX and CX having 3 key components. 

  1. It all starts with a brand’s “heartbeat.” 
  1. Employee reviews are (just as important as) customer reviews. 
  1. Employees can (and should!) be a brand’s best spokespeople.   

HEARTBEAT 💖

This can cut to the core for so many reasons. In today’s technology-driven world, consumers want to buy from brands that celebrate the human experience. Whilst consumers are buying online it doesn’t mean that they do away with the need to feel valued as a human being as well as having their purchase benefit other human beings. Consider how you are impacting the community and ensure you are educating your consumers on why their purchase decision positively effects someone or something in this lonely world. How can your products and services drive human connection with your consumers and the community.  

REVIEWS 🔎

Your employees are on the front line of customer experience every day. They will always be ahead of management in the feedback loop or good and bad service so make sure you pave a golden path to your office door. Welcome your team in for continuous and sustainable feedback especially when it has anything to do with your customers.  

+EX = Powerful Influence  🤩

If organisations take the time to open their eyes to the many talents of employees, they can create a genuine, authentic facet of promotion that consumers are more open and trusting to. How many paid promotional messages do you get each day? Wouldn’t you listen if someone you knew was telling you their positive experience instead. We trust people. Let your people gain the trust of your potential buyers. If your employees are however, unsatisfied and disengaged perhaps stick to the pay per click option.  

See what I’m saying here? 

One thing that’s hasn’t been mentioned here is the need for trust, psychological safety and open lines of communication both down up and top down. All of these things are required to form a customer centric and employee centric culture. Perhaps I’ll roll my advice into the next blog. 😉  

In summary:  

Combining customer-centricity and employee-centricity is a smart strategy for a multitude of reasons. Ultimately, every company in every industry benefit from improving their employee experience, because it has a direct correlation to CX, which has a direct correlation to revenue.  

Happy employees mean happy customers, but happy customers also mean happy employees.  

Interacting with satisfied customers not only makes working for your company exponentially more pleasant; it validates the hard work your employees do every day. What’s a great article without an inspiring quote to finish off……

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” 

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup

Need more information? If you want to drive your Employee Experience and/or Customer Experience for better results contact Liv for a coffee and a chat.

This article was written by Olivia O’Connor founder of Liv By Design consultancy. If you’d like to look at ways to improve your organisations focus on the human side of work and connecting with your customers reach out today.

Conversion rate optimisation, Pay per click, omnichannel, evergreen content, referral marketing, digital marketing, responsive design, call to action, search engine optimisation, lifecycles, inbound, chat bots, sales enablement, lead scoring, content creation, social media schedules, boosts, sales funnels, affiliate marketing, organic reach and ………………….. bbr-eathe.  

The way we communicate (or market) to potential customers certainly isn’t as clear cut as it used to be. We’ve reached new heights in complexity. The bad news is, we are nowhere near the peak and instead we’re more likely to be just at base camp. As the most informed yet distracted consumers that ever existed our focus will only continue to decentralise from the one or two major social media sites to many, many more. As marketers this makes reaching your customers in a timely and cost-efficient manner well, tricky. Not impossible, just trickier, more involved and more demanding of creative new approaches.

Then there is the widening chasm between marketing teams and leaders of organisations. KPI’s for marketing teams demand that we are across all the analytics and every metric we can get our hands on. We can often report these in the most polished spreadsheet and presentation fit for any global audience but what does it all mean, really? We need to make this relevant and this is where at times some teams can struggle. Leaders don’t have time to delve into detail and that’s all that the marketing team know how to provide. This is where as marketers we need the ability to be able to simplify our explanations of what we do and almost act as interpreters for ourselves. We need to constantly question our statement with so what? We increased our reach by 34%… yadda yadda yadda. So what? What result did we have in new customer activity and perceptions?

Make it relevant

Relevant to our business development teams who need insights to make sales. Relevant to our R&D teams to provide clear focus. Relevant to the leaders of the organisations who need to know the big picture and how it relates to their role and influence in the industry.

Most of all what we do, needs to be relevant to customers. We need to analyse the information and go one step further. How about we ….. ok wait for it. Talk to our customers, face to face. Talk to them about their journey why they used you, how they found you, why you and not someone else. Will they come back? Ask why or why not?

Let’s not fear the connection customer centricity brings. It’s the one thing that will give us a breakthrough moment and a better result. Let’s start testing what we put out there and stop making our communications polished one-way messages that we hope they read and understand.

The best brands in the world spends thousands researching how to be relevant and they don’t always hit the mark, but they go to the extra effort to understand their consumers and the reactions of their initiatives.

What I’m suggesting is we start testing small and connect with a customer to gain feedback. We could go the extra mile to co-design if we have a significant project. That’s a whole other blog ;o)

Customer Focus

Customer profiling and journey mapping are now well known in the digital marketing space and it’s a great way of aligning the design of our website and structure of our sales funnel and even knowing the language to use. Here’s my pursuit… let’s take these initiatives off-line. Let’s take this energy, focus and time and look at our entire organisation.

Look at the core problem we are solving for our customers and how well coordinated and aligned our services are to their expectations and needs. You’ll find some of the solutions lie with marketing, but some might not be. What a customer journey mapping session will do is highlight the changes and improvements you can make to keep your organisation true to its brand promise.

Break free of assumptions

We (as marketers) don’t know everything, and we never will from behind a screen. We can analyse the data we can make assumptions we can identify trends we can predict. Heck we can do a lot with data. I love data but I only love it from the insights we gain from it. Without insights and the ability to apply them they are just numbers.

The best marketing comes from authenticity, an ability to connect and heck even a sense of vulnerability. Let’s stop pretending we are the guru who knows it all and instead take the time to talk to a customer. Open our minds and let’s be more curious about why they make the decisions they make. Break down the barriers and let’s get to know our customer. They will help us unlock how to attract more people like them. Without customers innovation, disruption and all things termed success are impossible.  

Hey this is Liv, thanks for taking the time to read my article. I created Liv By Design to help organisations connect with their customers and empower them to create their own marketing strategies.

Digital is important, social is important and we often jump to these tactical solutions to gain new customers without taking the time to really identify and understand your customer and their needs. If you start your marketing strategy with your customer, you’ll have a more refined idea of who you are targeting and the best methods. This will cut your marketing costs and help you stand out amongst the crowd of brands that are grasping for audience attention.

At Liv By Design I ensure the process is simple, developing a marketing strategy in line with all the other conventions of your organisation like culture, customer experience and customer service.

Not sure if you are tackling your marketing, right? Maybe you’re a busy marketing team who just don’t have time to connect with customers? Give me a call I’m always here to offer obligation free advice.