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Employee Surveys

Businesses Overestimate Their Customer Service Prowess

Most businesses and C-Suite occupants think they truly understand their customers. We typically find that many of these business leaders also believe they provide an optimal experience for their consumers.

This is rarely the case, and it appears we are not alone in encountering this issue. 

In a survey of customers and businesses, Millward Brown Digital discovered a significant gap between how businesses believe they care for customers and how valued consumers actually feel.

While three out of four businesses believe they provide an optimal experience for consumers, just 36 percent of customers in the survey say they feel cared for.

This is pretty common, especially among larger organizations. We find the greater the distance between management and the customer, the greater the discrepancy in understanding consumer needs, experience, and loyalty.

If you are doing employee surveys, we recommend you test perceptions among employees from all levels of authority on how consumers view your customer service and product/service value. Once you have these numbers, compare these results with your customer loyalty surveys and see how closely management is in alignment with the consumer.

Strong and successful organizations are usually in alignment with their customers.  Firms on the cusp of trouble typically think they provide an optimal customer experience, while their consumers rate their experiences very differently.

Millward Brown surveyed 1,650 mobile phone users over age 18 in the U.S., U.K. and Australia in September 2014 for Mblox. To see their results, you can get the information from Mblox here.

 

Successful Companies and Organizations Are Close to Their Customers

Bureaucracies stifle innovation. It doesn’t matter if the organization is an association, a government agency, publicly traded company, or a local mom-and-pop store.

This truism even applies to McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has always been the benchmark for standardization, uniformity in product and service deliverability, and consistency in pricing. With increased competition and changing customer tastes, even McDonald’s is now looking for ways to get closer to their customers.

This week The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald's will eliminate layers of management and bureaucracy to streamline decision-making. This includes creating four zones— Northeast, South, Central, and West—to help organize the company around local consumer tastes and preferences.

According to the company, they want to be more sophisticated in how they use local intelligence to address specific consumer needs.

Smart move on their part.

Local control is important regardless of the type of organization.

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about the management of restaurants, schools, stores, cable companies, governments, or any organization that serves the public, individuals and institutions closest to the customer/diners/students/voters/etc. are the most knowledgeable and best suited to make decisions about customer needs and wants.

Yes, technology can allow organizations and management to get closer to their customers. It can help organizations tailor offerings and pricing to local tastes. It cannot replace input from line workers who are often outside the decision-making loop, yet possess some of the most attuned knowledge about their customers.

Burger King is experiencing significant growth by listening to franchisors who know best how to serve their customers.

Get local, decentralize decision-making, and grow.

It’s working for Burger King, Kraft, and potentially McDonald’s. It could also work for you.

 

What Motivates Employees? How Do You Get The Most Out of Your Staff?

One of the key challenges for any executive or business owner is motivating workers.

To help you get the most out from your employees, I’ve compiled a list of best practices that can help you turn your staff into motivated and loyal employees. Research has shown that these are the items valued by employees in high performing and growing organizations.

  • Communicate a clear and compelling vision of where the organization is headed, how to get there, and what it means for your people

  • Articulate a clear direction and strategy for winning, and translate it into specific goals and targets

  • Talk to your employees and discuss the direction of the organization and their part in making it happen

  • Ensure individual employees understand what is expected of them, have sufficient authority and feel accountable for delivering results 

To develop employee loyalty and enthusiasm, you need to motivate your team to perform at their very best. In survey after survey, we have found that strong scores on these items indicate highly performing organizations with enthusiastic and loyal employees.