Customers pay attention to how companies treat their employees. Because, if an employee is treated well, the customer believes they are likely to be treated well, too. So, if we want to build a brand people love, we need to start with people first. Our own people.
Saleforce’s Chief Growth Evangelist, Tiffani Bova, said, “The fastest way to get customers to love your brand is to get employees to love their job.” And so maybe that’s where we start a new year. We start with people. Those working with us and the ones served by our brand.
Bova is not the first to suggest the connection between employees and customers. Tom Peters, management guru and author of In Search of Excellence and more recently The Excellence Dividend, has long said, “Excellent customer experiences rely entirely on an excellent employee experience because it’s the employee who makes or breaks the customer connection.”
It should come as no surprise that customers pay attention to the relationship between employee and employer. Back in 2018, we read in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, how consumers considered shared values as criteria for brand selection. Among those values were things like fairness. (We remember the definition of fairness includes, “how you treat people, including your employees.”) Further, in 2019 90% of consumers said it’s important to them that brands take care of their employees and treat them well.
So, if company leaders treat employees well—fair pay, opportunities for advancement, diversity in the workplace, doing meaningful work, having good relationships with their co-workers and supervisors—they’re more inclined to love their jobs. And that’s good for the bottom line.
We read in the Qminder blog that an employee who is satisfied and happy with the company serves customers with more information and enthusiasm. Qminder also notes that according to Gallup, companies that have happier employees show 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors.
That this connection among happy employees, happy customers and profitability continues to be at the core of building a lovable brand—even in the age of cloud and apps—is saying something.
If building a brand that people love is a priority for you this year, let us know. We’d love to help you.