Forbes came out with a study this week entitled “The New Rules of Engagement: CMOs Rethink Their Marketing Mix” (http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/engagement/index.html).
It’s great that CMOs are realizing the importance of building a relationship with their customers — 95% want to optimize engagement with customers. However, it’s disconcerting that only 61% want to optimize engagement with their employees. We should know by now that happy/engaged employees lead to happy/engaged customers.
In a recent article about Zappos’ (http://lnkd.in/4Hwirj) we learn that Tony Hsieh, CEO, relocated the company to Las Vegas for the good of his employees and also urges CSRs to spend as much time with customers as necessary to ensure they’re totally satisfied — contrary to CSRs being measured by how many calls they handle in an hour. His employees have returned the favor by helping Zappos gain recognition as a perennial leader in customer service and satisfaction.
After Jim McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers, appeared on Undercover Boss, he declared that one of the benefits of his participation was getting to have direct interaction with his employees, “We’ve always preached that (build a relationship first) in how we interact with our customers. But what I’ve learned from this experience is that it’s even more important to do that with the people that work in our company.” (http://blog.nrf.com/2010/04/12/undercover-boss-chris-mccann-shares-insights-lessons-learned/)
How many more examples do we, as managers, need to treat our employees in the same manner in which we want our employees to treat customers?
Done successfully, we may find that many of our employees are pretty good at generating consumer insights that will help improve products, services and revenue — if we’re willing to listen.