The recent talks given at the 2018 Insight Show, and open-house events as part of MRS’s Impact Week, further emphasized how important it is for companies to keep customers at the heart of everything they do.
But is it enough to consider what only customers tell you?
As a recent client-side researcher with the Ladbrokes Coral group and British Gas, the importance of the customer to both of these was unquestionably paramount – the markets these companies operate in are ultra-competitive, and both also receive their share of media attention (at times unfair), even when it’s other companies within their sector that are creating the headlines.
Some of this all leads to Joe and Joanna Public having a view of that company where the negativity sticks for some time, even if those companies have positive and rewarding initiatives in place for customers. And this negativity can have a devastating effect on employees too.
The idea is that if employees are empowered enough or are provided with the right tools to help their customers when a problem requires resolution, the process should be swift and a smile returns to the face of the customer. They in turn, wax lyrical about their experience and potential customers get a positive feeling about the company too.
End of story and happy days for all. Except it’s not as straightforward as that. Time to take a step back.
When employee studies take place, it demonstrates that the company cares for and appreciates its workforce and is willing to implement necessary changes, if that is what the research shows.
Asking your employees what is right (and wrong), should be taking place whether the company is recording their best annual turnover and profit figures, or their worst (and everywhere in-between of course too!).
When the word ‘stakeholder’ is mentioned, it’s natural to immediately think of the customer – after all, they’re the ones spending their hard-earned cash on your products and services. But it’s important that the employee forms part of that equation too, and that an employer is prepared to listen to them, in order to make them feel fulfilled and motivated in their role.
This brings me back to the MRS open-house events and in particular the session for Barclays, which for me, by some margin was the most interesting and fascinating one. Barclays had experienced some issues 6-7 years ago and had been honest enough with itself to investigate how it could repair its brand image.
Covering all bases, not only did they speak to customers, but influencers, decision-makers and the business elite, as well as their own employees.
So, stakeholders come in all forms! And at Survey Solutions, we’re experts at speaking to employees and customers – give us a call to chat about your research needs!