Monday, 5 march 2018 | Redacción CEU
Can a brand that does not care about the experience of its employees offer a good Customer Experience? Are dissatisfied employees good ambassadors for firms? There are questions that do not need answers. The strategies designed by Human Resources departments are also reflected in the image that brands project. A good harmony between the departments of HR and Marketing favors the success of any campaign. As a proof of this, we have examples like the one of the Room Mate Hotels Company, a case study showed at the past event organized by CEU IAM Business School. How can the Customer Experience be transformed through the Employee Experience?
As if it were a mathematical formula, a happy employee is followed by many satisfied customers. It will be very difficult for a customer to interact, digitally or physically, with a disgruntled or unmotivated employee to have a full and memorable experience. The motivation and involvement of employees are essential factors in the Customer Experience. In Room Mate Hotels they are aware of this relationship. This was demonstrated by its Director of Human Resources, Flor Reiter, at the event Room Mate Hotels: A success case in Customer Experience organized by CEU IAM Business School, when she cited one of the brand's premises: <<There is no Customer Experience if there is no Employee Experience previously>>.
There are many metrics designed to measure customer satisfaction, but how are experiences measured? The answer is not simple. Employees often serve as a thermometer to measure the degrees Celsius of the experience that customers have with the brand. They are the ones who interact directly with clients and they often are also the only witnesses of how they perceive and receive the final product. On the other hand, employees know better than anyone the obstacles that they face when offering a good service and making clients captivated and falling in love with brands. In order to overcome these barriers, favor the good performance of their work and promote a good relationship with clients, companies have to be able to listen to their employees.
There are many channels and methods that allow companies to give voice to their employees: suggestion boxes, groups in social networks, pulse surveys,... In Room Mate Hotels, they have gone further. As part of the process of the incorporation to headquarters, their employees undergo a program called In your Mate Shoes where they have to put themselves in the shoes of the colleagues from hotels working on different areas like reception, maintenance, cleaning or breakfast for a day and a half. The employees of their hotels also have the opportunity to become customers once a month and spend a night in the hotels to get to know what is the experience of the clients in first person. Thanks to this innovative methodology, the company obtains a more real perspective of the experience that both its clients and its employees have.
At the event organized by CEU IAM, Javier Ontiveros, CEO of Quid Qualitas and Director of its Executive Customer Experience Program, gave special attention to the treatment of the term "client": <<Behind the word "client" there are many clients> > Among them, the professor cited some as the in-person that is the one that interacts face to face or the client that connects through a digital medium, but he also emphasized on the importance of other types of clients, like the own employees, the collaborators, any area of the company, the franchises or the shareholders, among others. An approach focused on the old client concept that focuses only on the experience in a physical store offers a really limited perspective.
On her behalf, the representative of the hotel chain also explained at the event how their employees are conceived as their "internal customers" and they give them a new entity, they are their "roomies". The HR area of this company works as a business partner with four central points: values and culture, communication, recognition and career and development. Through these four areas, they work on the improvement of the employee experience and develop programs such as "the value project" where the employees themselves choose a value from the company that defines them and offer their own vision of it. The result has taken the form of a corporate book and Room Mate Hotels now offers it to both clients and investors.
There are many examples with which the company aims to achieve that employees also have unique experiences and getting through them to push the one of the rest of their customers: the celebration of annual awards in the "Hollywood" style, the professionals' recognition who give an extra step in their functions, a new focus on the selection process to get the candidates captivated and work on teams from the first contact, the internship offer aimed at the effective incorporation of the interns in their staff,... Proof of that the initiatives launched by this company are a success is its low percentage of labor rotation and that the firm has received more than twenty awards and recognitions, like the one granted by the Association for the Development of the Customer Experience (DEC) to the best CEX strategy in 2015.
Customer Experience increasingly focuses on people. In this event the two speakers have made it clear that what makes a different and memorable experience for them has a very close relationship with the human factor. The experience of the internal client is reflected in the external one. If a company forgets about its employees, customers also lose.
CEU IAM has precisely designed an Advanced Program in Customer Experience, practical, experiential, participatory and with a multidisciplinary vision focused on both the Employee Experience and all aspects related to the Customer Experience like neuromarketing, innovation, transformation digital or cultural transformation, among many others. Learn to measure experiences, create a brand promise and design memorable experiences!