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Your Internal Communication Strategy and Its Impact on the Customer Experience

Posted by EmployeeChannel on 8.23.2016

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Compelling data shows that employee experience has a profound effect on customer experience, driving top and bottom line results.

  • A 2011 study conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri found that customer satisfaction and loyalty were nearly twice as strong when employees are satisfied with their jobs.

“This . . . finding stands in contrast to the idea that a firm can neglect to satisfy their employees as long as they pursue customer satisfaction . . . . This is not a one-way street where companies implement policies and can expect to experience gains solely through customer service. The relationships among the CEO, the employees and the customers are all linked.”
Christopher Groening, Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, University of Missouri

The ROI for improving the employee experience is clear. Happy employees provide better customer service. They are champions of your brand and inspire loyalty among peers and customers. In addition, happier, more engaged employees are more likely to stay with a company, eliminating the high costs of employee turnover.

But where do you begin?

Communication Provides the Framework

Like an intricate puzzle with too many pieces, the overwhelming task of improving employee experience is difficult because it’s often hard to distill such a big, abstract concept into discrete and meaningful actions.

The key is breaking the big idea down into impactful and actionable steps. Just as we begin a puzzle by finding the edge pieces and laying out the frame, the employee experience needs a framework on which to build, and communication is that framework.

Any positive, lasting, and impactful relationship begins and ends with effective communication. Improving internal employee communication contributes to a better employee experience, ultimately driving better performance for the organization.

Great Internal Communication Empowers Employees

A unified and coherent strategy to create the ideal employee experience must leverage all employee interactions with company leadership, HR professionals, managers, and peers and should span a range of initiatives and processes, including internal communication.

An internal communication strategy aimed at improving both the employee and customer experience should:

  • Inspire company loyalty through frequent communication of company vision, mission and goals.

  • Align individual and team performance with high level business goals and the company’s customer success strategy.

  • Provide a convenient and direct channel for employee feedback, promoting a more open and inclusive corporate dialogue.

  • Provide employees with the personal information they need—at their moment of need—to succeed in both their professional and personal lives.

Effective Communication as Part of Your Company's DNA

An investment in communication is an investment in both the employee and customer experience and should be built into the DNA of every company.

We can look to industry leaders for proof that employee communication matters. E-Commerce giant Zappos promotes “Building Open and Honest Relationships with Communication” as a core company value understanding that the open and honest relationships that you build with employees will nurture open and honest relationships with customers. Communication is the conduit for fostering a culture of openness and honesty, ultimately influencing employee, customer, and partner happiness.

“We thought about how we could make our core values into the platform on which we would build a company, and the culture became the platform. Making employees happy and making customers happy and making our partners happy became our mantra.
Alfred Lin, CFO Zappos

Industry leaders, such as Zappos, make their communication a key element of the employee experience and closely align it with their customer success strategy. Employees at these organizations are happy and committed, and customers become loyal brand ambassadors.

Want more content like this?

Blog: 6 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Communication Strategy

Whitepaper: The Missing Piece in the HR Technology Landscape

Infographic: Are You and Your Employees Really on Speaking Terms?

Topics: employee experience, internal communications, employee communication, customer experience

Human Resources Today