INTUITION IS GOOD; A GOOD MAP IS BETTER: INTRODUCTION TO THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE MAP
“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms” is as true today as it was 2,500 years ago when Socrates had this insight. Getting and staying on the same page is critically important as leaders face their most persistent challenge: Ensuring consistent execution of their company’s intended customer experience. The real challenge is not what leaders say it is – “exceeding expectations” – rather it is meeting the customer expectations that have been set by the company’s brand messaging and the times that the company has perfectly delivered its intended customer experience.
Contrary to popular belief, meeting the challenge of consistent execution does not begin with the development of tactics such as steps of service, shopper’s reports or employee pep talks. It begins with a shared understanding among a company’s leaders of the sources of its customer experience in the experience of the faces, hearts, and hands of the customer brand; namely, customer-facing hourly and management employees. One perspective on the relationships between management and hourly employee experiences and the reality of your customer experience is summarized by the following model.
Figure 1. Corvirtus Egg Model of Experience and Results
Briefly, the Egg Model says that the quality of the experience provided by your company to its management employees determines the upper limit (hence, the multiplication sign) of the quality of the hourly employee experience. In turn, the quality of the employment experience of customer-facing management and hourly employees sets the upper limit to the quality of the customer experience. The model shows Leading Indicators of Success for Managers, Employees, and Customers as the immediate result of the quality of their experience. The leading indicators are attitudinal and typically expressed as behavioral intentions such as a customer’s intent to return and refer, and management and hourly employee intentions to stay, perform, and refer the company to their friends and family.
The Lagging Indicators of Success are typically measured as hard numbers specific to each of the three “eggs”:
- Turnover rates
- Proportion of managers promoted from within
- Actual referrals to work or product use by employees and customers (customer count and customer frequency)
It is these outcomes that have a direct effect on financial results such as sales increase, cost management, and cash flow.
Active Loyalty™ is a key Corvirtus concept and a theme of the lagging indicators, as it reflects the stakeholder (manager, hourly employee, and customer) behavior on behalf of the company. It includes actions such as an employee voluntarily going above and beyond what is required (employee engagement) or a customer driving by one of a company’s best competitors in order to buy the company’s products and services.
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