What matters in business – and in life – is being radically re-considered and re-experienced, even as you read this. What is clear is that all of us are essential in many ways.
For those deemed essential workers at essential services companies right now, you’re the fabric that binds society together.
For all of us working from home, our organizations may not be deemed essential, but the paycheck they give us is – and how we choose to spend it will heavily affect our community and economy for the foreseeable future.
We’re all essentially intertwined, which begs the question that we took to Twitter on Friday, April 24, 2020: “How can organizations, specifically leaders, capture both the voice of the customer and the voice of the employee?”
Moreover, are these two voices even that different – especially right now?
For the group on Twitter, the answer was decently unanimous: stress and anxiety are weighing on us all, and that affects how we work, how we spend, and how we live.
In all versions of our self – our employee self and our customer self included – what we need is the same as what we need anytime we are feeling collective and anticipatory grief of this magnitude: to be heard, not placated.
On the performance side, feedback is more important than ever.
Clear communication, transparency, and re-assurance were all brought up – and often – during the Tweetchat.
So much of it hinges on this idea: with so much changing so frequently, how can leaders give feedback effectively and often to reassure, to be transparent, and to encourage clear lines of communication?
Without clear communication and servant leadership, what leaders risk at their organizations is a massive bottleneck of ideas and productivity.
How you treat your employees is how they treat the customer, and it all begins at the top – with honesty.
How does this translate into action, though? Well, focus on reassurance beginning with your employees, and then use reassurance throughout your customer funnel.
The employee experience and customer loyalty are inextricably linked
And, as jobs are being lost, and this pandemic continues – customers are paying more attention than ever to how businesses treat their employees. Ultimately, customers will decide if behavior during a pandemic was cruel, and adjust their spend.
So, as a leader, what can you do right now to open that bottle neck, to provide a great employee experience that they can share down and through to customers?
Here are a few ideas:
Ultimately, how you treat both employees and customers right now – during this challenging time – will ultimately be what folks remember.
It will drive loyalty, or it will drive churn.
And since we don’t know what the future brings economically, the best thing leaders can do right now is focus on how to empower employees with stability, feedback, and transparency so that they can bring clear communication and empathy to customers on behalf of your brand.
It starts at the top.