Great advertising and smart marketing campaigns are no longer the backbones of your brand. Now, your customer and employee experience are the crucial cornerstones: neglect them at your peril.
Why your customers and employees will define your brand
Having a beautifully crafted brand with strong guidelines and well-defined values is great for your marketing and internal communications. But in reality, that’s just a small piece of the puzzle: ultimately, it’s your customers and your employees who will define your brand by using their powerful voices online. They are the ones who can give the truest picture of your company, its culture and values.
The customer is always right – and always online
Social media has given customers a powerful voice. Complaints and opinions on companies’s shortcomings are no longer a matter of private communication through emails, letters and phone calls. And once customers have used their voices on social media to broadcast dissatisfaction, all that’s left for the company concerned is scrambling for damage control.
You can carefully curate your brand and its online presence, but the truth is that your customers can give an X-ray view of your brand to other consumers by commenting on social media and review sites. They can embarrass you by linking to your claims about your products/services/brand and demonstrating how reality didn’t meet expectations.
By contrast, happy customers can give your brand a boost by spreading the good news, and introducing your brand to potential new customers through positive social media comments and good reviews.
So, what can you do to optimise your customer experience?
- Make sure your products and services match your brand promise. Keep it realistic.
- Have a robust social media strategy. A dedicated social media person (or, in some instances, a team) is essential for quick responses to put any fires out, or amplify positive comments. Take time zones into account – comments can come in around the clock and gather traction before the other side of the world has woken up.
- Give apologies where needed, make it clear what you’re doing to fix the issue, and stress how important customer feedback is to you. Don’t ignore or dispute.
- Ensure your customer service is tip top. Surveys and market research can help to understand what an excellent experience means to your customers. Then develop your strategy and align teams to deliver it.
- Establish clear user journeys so that customers can easily find their way around your app or make purchases on your website.
- Create an emotional connection with your customers through tailored email and push notifications, and a conversational tone of voice that really speaks to them and engages.
- Communicate clear and genuine sustainability values. Customers want to buy from brands that care about the same issues and values, and it’s a great way to build a loyal customer base.
Why employee experience matters
Traditionally, fairly localised word-of-mouth from unhappy employees was all a company had to worry about. But these days, employees who have bad experiences will tell the world on social media and review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. This can make it hard to attract top talent, a vital currency for any business. A great employee experience means increased talent acquisition and retention. This has always been important, but now that hybrid working has arrived with a bang, many geographical barriers have fallen away which has increased competition for the best talent.
So what makes a great employee experience?
Employees want more than a salary. They expect flexible working (and an effective approach to hybrid working), great benefits, opportunities for growth, well-defined company values that are implemented properly – not just lip service – and to work for a company with a strong purpose that offers interesting life experiences.
It’s essential for your brand that you build a great employee experience so that your company can attract and retain top talent. Forbes research shows that companies which invest in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.
What are the ingredients for an excellent employee experience?
- Transparency and good communication, running both ways between managers and employees.
- Clear business objectives, with strong communication about how each employee’s role plays an important part in achieving them.
- Putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of your culture.
- Giving equal and generous access to opportunities: this is critical for career development, upskilling and mentoring. If an employee can’t see a clear path to growth at your company they’re unlikely to feel satisfied or to stay.
- Demonstrated corporate responsibility, not just lip service.
How can Kalido help?
Kalido has been designed to democratise opportunity for everyone, everywhere. So when it comes to delivering the best employee experience, it’s a huge asset.
Kalido’s skill matching technology acts like a search engine for matching employees in your company to roles that are a perfect fit for their skills. The use cases are vast: from discovering how many people in your organisation have specific skills, through to finding skilled individuals to advise you, staff your teams and work on your projects. Not only can managers staff roles faster and more effectively, but employee satisfaction is increased as people can access the roles that are right for them and their ambitions. Kalido is ideal for helping employees to upskill, find mentorship and drive their own career development: all really important drivers of employee happiness and retention.
Kalido also has all the collaboration tools needed on one handy platform to achieve open and transparent communication. The unique interest matching feature enables colleagues to connect through their shared passions by creating Group Chats and Channels to share engaging content and actively participate in meaningful conversations. Kalido was being built long before the pandemic, but is perfectly attuned for helping employees to build strong bonds and good relationships when remote or hybrid working.