By Kelly Cogar
As we delve deeper into our focus on employee engagement at Vitalyst, I find myself recognizing more and more each day the importance of engagement to overall customer experience. You may be familiar with the quote “Happy spouse, happy house”—well, I feel a similar sentiment is true with business, “Happy employees, happy customers.”
Why does a positive customer experience even matter? According to an annual survey by Esteban Kolsky, CEO of thinkJar, 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience, 66 percent of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service, and it is six to seven times more expensive for companies to attract new customers than to keep existing ones. This is why it is so important for companies to create a positive customer experience. And the first step to achieving that is employee engagement.
If employees come into work feeling engaged, they are enthusiastic about their work and committed to the well-being of the organization. That kind of attitude is going to influence the service they provide to customers.
At the opposite side of the spectrum, if employees come into work disengaged, they generally feel unsatisfied with their work and the organization, and it will have a negative impact on the customer service they provide. Plus, engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile for a customer, while disengaged employees are more likely to do the bare minimum. What’s worse, actively disengaged employees may go out of their way to hurt the reputation of the organization with their customers.
At Vitalyst, customer experience is a top priority because, to customers, our on-demand advisors are the company. As a result, we have actively begun measuring our employees’ engagement levels using a weekly pulse survey. These surveys measure 10 key metrics of employee engagement: satisfaction, feedback, recognition, happiness, wellness, professional growth, relationship with managers, relationship with colleagues, company alignment, and ambassadorship.
At Vitalyst, customer experience is a top priority because, to customers, our on-demand advisors are the company
The surveys also gather written feedback and suggestions from employees company-wide. With the knowledge we gain from the data collected, we are able to implement initiatives designed to increase engagement, especially within our Customer Experience Group.
One such initiative is enhancing our internal training model. Even though our training has produced the best results in our industry, we have found room for improvements thanks to the feedback received from our employees. Using their input, we are constructing an innovative training curriculum that will result in our employees being more engaged than ever before. It will also allow our new employees to approach full productivity 25 percent faster than just a few years ago.
Another recent effort is promoting employee well-being with partnerships and programs. We team up with local gyms to offer our employees discounted memberships. We provide standup desks for employees who request them. We offer healthy meal choices for our employees to enjoy at lunch by stocking better options in our vending machines, and through occasional catered lunches. We also bring in therapy dogs and massage practitioners to help with the everyday stresses of work and life. These are just some of the initiatives we have in place to help increase our employees’ engagement, which correlates to a positive customer experience.
We will keep engagement in the forefront of our present and future plans to ensure that we continue providing an industry-leading customer experience and elevate our service levels to new heights.