Employees who are engaged are willing to do more for customers Colleagues need practical tools to deliver on the brand promise Gail Parker, brand, marketing and distribution director at RSA Personal Lines, shares her tips on employee engagement and customer satisfaction. For any services company operating in a highly competitive and commoditised sector, people are the biggest differentiator to delivering competitive advantage and commercial return. So it’s vital that the whole team is focused on delivering the brand promise for customers. Employee engagement plays a key role in this by creating an army of people determined to do more for the customer. People who will never be satisfied with ‘just about good enough’, people who will always go the extra mile. Some organisations might call this discretionary effort, which is certainly one of the commercial outcomes of effective employee engagement Great organisations have an ‘always on’ internal brand engagement programme designed to inform, inspire, enable and empower their people to do more for the customer.
Inform: Ensure everyone is clear about shared brand purpose and commercial goals, and importantly how these are prioritised. Be transparent in reporting on progress against these goals – and methodical in reporting success and failure.
Inspire: Recruit a team of brand ambassadors with representatives across the business, who will role model desired behaviours and inspire their colleagues to do more, have boundless ambition and be better every day.
Enable: This is all about providing colleagues with the practical tools they need to deliver on the brand promise. For example, at More Than, we have four challenging customer promises that sit at the heart of our brand (born out of what customers tell us are the biggest bug bears with our industry), which all employees from the board down use to guide their decision-making.
Empower: Is there a way you can empower colleagues to surprise and delight customers, making sure your brand goes the extra mile? Choose simple and practical ways a colleague can do more for a customer so both become advocates for your brand.
Especially when a customer conversation is challenging – in insurance, this is particularly relevant in claims. People are the biggest differentiator. I am a firm believer that having a branded colleague experience is a critical part of creating a branded customer experience, which in turn delivers competitive advantage. And we have all seen the numerous studies that show the direct correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. From a productivity perspective, having the majority of your team saying they are motivated to do more than expected of them is hugely valuable. Finally, my top characteristics of effective employee engagement would be: Fantastic leadership: Whether that’s being clear on a shared ambition for the whole organisation to rally around or being brave enough to move away from prescriptive defined behaviours and allowing your culture to build collectively. Be as passionate about internal brand engagement as you are about building your brand externally – and invest in it. It’s certainly not all about communications but inspirational campaigns have their role to play. Measurement: What isn’t measured isn’t managed, so ensure you are measuring employee engagement and acting on the findings.