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Employee branding: Critical to customer experience

Employee branding is a critical component of the customer experience. When employees are treated fairly and feel empowered, they deliver better experiences for customers.
Source: © Vadim Guzhva  Employee branding is a critical component of the customer experience
Source: © Vadim Guzhva 123rf Employee branding is a critical component of the customer experience

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the business landscape forever. Employees are rethinking what they want from work and customers now expect more from brands than ever before.

Brand trust has moved to the fore. Customers and employees expect brands to not only live their brand purpose but to demonstrate honesty, integrity and transparency by securing customer and employee data, respecting personal information privacy, and consistently delivering value and better customer experiences.

This is supported by the Adobe 2022 Trust Report which found that 75% of global leaders say that since the onset of the pandemic, it is harder to build and maintain trust with their customers.

The report further states that taking care of employees earns trust across the board. Although there are several factors involved in building and maintaining trust, the findings from the report confirm that employee well-being is a key factor contributing to trust and the customer experience.

Employees as brand ambassadors

In the eyes of your customers, your employees are often the face of your organisation. They answer calls, respond to queries, send content, and are trusted to deliver a consistent customer experience across all interactions.

It is for this reason that Gartner* cites that employees are the most trusted spokespeople for organisations and, with more platforms available to share their message, they have the power to be a company’s best supporters or its worst detractors.

Employees need to be prioritised as a key audience that experiences the brand daily, witnessing the company living its brand values and brand purpose from the inside out.

To achieve this, employers must treat employees with honesty and empathy to build trust and improve the employee experience; this includes treating employees’ personal information with respect.

When employees feel respected and empowered, they are more likely to go the extra mile and engage with customers authentically and contribute to a consistent brand experience across all customer touchpoints.

Fair treatment of employees is not enough, and employees also need to be equipped with tools and easy-to-use tools and technology solutions that simplify their lives.

Gartner supports this, identifying that these experiences should be balanced by providing employees with autonomy to use their authentic voice within specific brand guidelines.

The personal touch

Companies have been collecting customer data for several years and now customers believe that these companies know enough about them to add value to the experience. According to Adobe, personal experiences are a trust multiplier with trust increasing with good personalisation and decreasing with bad personalisation.

With personalised content inspiring trust amongst consumers, it is important that employees have easy access to the right content to empower them to provide personalised content in all customer interactions.

This is further supported by the fact that 71% of consumers say that relevant content delivered at the right time and place boosts their trust.

The lack of employee empowerment is a root cause of bad employee engagement.

Employee experiences are improved when employees have access to easy-to-use tools and technologies that simplify their lives and provide the information they need to be able to work effectively and make decisions.

This improves job satisfaction levels and customer experiences.

Improving productivity improves experiences

According to Gartner, employees are aware of the link between their experience and those of their customers.

Nearly two-thirds of employees cite unnecessary effort hampering their company from consistently excelling in customer experience.

However, while companies often strive to improve efficiencies by implementing technologies to help employees with workloads, these technologies are introduced in an already complex environment, adding to employee frustration and stress.

This is supported by the Gartner Digital Friction Survey 2020. It states that two out of three employees reported that they need to exert too much effort to use the technology their company provides, wasting more than five hours per week to be able to perform their job function.

To overcome this, Forrester Research suggests automating mundane tasks for employees with easy-to-use tools and technologies.

This will allow employees to focus on higher-value strategic work which improves the overall employee experience. Engaged employees are the key to creating memorable customer experiences.

However, to achieve engaged employees, companies need to focus on employee branding, reinforcing the brand values in every employee engagement and, in turn, empowering employees to deliver on-brand experiences in every customer interaction.

Providing employees with easy-to-use tools enables them to access the right content at the right time and streamline processes.

It simplifes employees’ lives and enables them to add strategic value to the organisation rather than searching for content and learning how to use new technologies in an already complex technology environment.

Companies that create positive employee experiences result in positive customer experiences delivered consistently to build trust.

About Paula Sartini

With over 20 years' experience helping leading organisations overcome various business challenges, Paula understands the challenges that companies face in delivering a consistent brand experience and the impact this has on their bottom line. An analytical thinker that strives to solve business problems with innovative solutions, Paula believes that technology plays a major role in solving critical business and branding challenges. As such, she established BrandQuantum to help businesses overcome their branding challenges in the digital age.

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