A colleague of mine recently wrote a blog on why every customer experience matters, looking particularly at the importance of employee attitudes in service delivery. These attitudes, and the commitment of the employee to providing consistent positive service interactions, is ultimately determined by how engaged the employee is with the organisation.
The link between levels of employee engagement and the quality of service provided is well documented, with recent research by Bright Horizons highlighting that 89% of employees with high levels of well-being reported high job satisfaction and nearly two thirds of those employees reported consistently putting in extra effort at work. Further to this, it has been suggested that companies who effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity and assets more than triple that experienced by firms that don’t.
One organisation that seems to recognise this point, and use it to its advantage is John Lewis. John Lewis is a unique organisation in that it is owned by its employees – or partners – who have a say in how it is run and receive a share of the profits. Every year John Lewis releases a partner survey for all their employees. The most recent results highlighted that 82% of partners said they feel respected, with 81% reporting they feel well informed about what’s going on in the business. Given that John Lewis employees stay with the company twice as long as they industry average, these figures are hardly surprising. This level of employee engagement has led to John Lewis being recognised in a number of customer satisfaction surveys and awards, for example, in 2012 it was voted Multichannel Retailer of the Year.
John Lewis has undoubtedly got their employee engagement right, and customers are benefitting from this. Other organisations must want the same positive experience for their own customers, so who will be the ‘John Lewis’ of 2013? What strategies will be adopted to replicate these successes and improve the customer experience?