As we head into 2018, there is much cause for optimism. Stock markets are up, and economic indicators are all trending upwards. How you motivate and engage with your employees and customers plays a critical role in the success of a company.
Employee engagement remains a problem for most businesses. Gallup reports that only one-third of workers in the U.S. are engaged. The result is high turnover and diminished productivity. For businesses with engaged employees, they see better business outcomes—from better customer service, to happier customers, to better profit margins.
Much has been written on the subject of customer engagement in recent years. Unless customers are highly engaged and advocates of your company, products, or services, they could be here today and gone tomorrow. And you want to retain your customers; as reported in the Harvard Business Review, it is between 5x and 25x more difficult to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
As you’re looking at initiatives to include on your list of business objectives for 2018, employee and customer engagement should be near the top of the list. The following are some ideas that can help you drive better engagement with your employees:
Employees appreciate recognition, and it isn’t always monetary. Public recognition can go a long way for many employees, depending on the deed. It is also important to document and track performance goals and to recognize employees when they achieve them. Think outside the box when it comes to celebrating employee—and company—success, and they will respond with even bigger and better results.
Switching up meeting agendas.
Employees fall into rote routines, and using the same agendas for reoccurring meetings results in unimaginative, dull, and unengaging meetings—not to mention employees. And as a change of scenery is good sometimes, you may want to think about holding some meetings outside your business location using a rented conference room space from Davinci Meeting Rooms.
Share ownership of decision.
We’ve all worked in organizations where decisions are made behind closed doors and the rest of the employees are expected to follow the orders mandated by the select few. If this describes your business, then you need to rethink how you make decisions. Rather than closing the doors and then issuing orders, engage your employees in decision-making processes. When they take ownership, the likely success improves dramatically.
Stimulate ideas and collaboration.
Just as employees want to be included in decisions and to have full transparency in the reasons behind them, they also want the opportunity to contribute new ideas—from business initiatives to process changes. Additionally, organizations need to institute processes, including goals, that promote collaboration within teams and between teams.
Over the past couple years, growing numbers of employers have recognized the value of mobilizing employees to advocate on the behalf of their company, products, and services. The voice of your business can be amplified 5x, 10x, 50x, 100x or more when your employees begin to advocate on your behalf through their social media channels. The upside is that there are a number of cloud-based tools that can be leveraged to streamline and automate employee advocacy.
Engaged employees are only half the battle. The following are some idea to help you improve customer engagement:
Give them multiple channels.
Customers want to engage with you on their channel of choice, using multiple devices, and at any time. In the past, only large businesses could afford to deliver omnichannel experiences to their customers. But with the emergence of cloud-based services such as Davinci Live Receptionists and Davinci Live Web Chat services that provide integrated customer services, the bar was lowered so that small businesses can deliver the experiences their customers demand of their providers in their digital age.
Listen to them.
Customers want to be heard, and not simply when they need support. They want businesses to seek their feedback through surveys and other models of engagement. And if you’re waiting to hear from your dissatisfied customers, think again. Businesses only hear from four percent of dissatisfied customers.
Create personalized journeys.
Customers want to do business with companies that understand their preferences, behaviors, and needs. Businesses that deliver personalized web experiences and email campaigns generate 20 percent higher sales. Segmentation of campaigns produce up to a 760 percent in email-generated campaign revenue.
Engage them for advocacy.
Just as employees need to be engaged for advocacy, customers also need to be mobilized for advocacy. Businesses that do so can turbocharge their marketing campaigns.
2018 is right around the corner. Start today to make it the year of employee and customer engagement.