Updated: Nov 21
Committing to customer experience and employee experience during times of uncertainty will help your business in the long run
As we read more articles about layoffs, it is unfortunate to see support departments like Human Resources, Marketing, Customer Service and Customer Experience getting reductions or eliminations. It is understandable that in times of economic uncertainly, support departments look ripe for overhead reductions. After all, they are perceived as non-revenue generating, or at least non-direct revenue generating, which makes deciding to cut these departments a likely choice and necessary as belts get tightened. In addition, companies are looking for immediate return on investments, and investing in the customer and brand can be complicated and long-range.
If organizations are laying off all the people centric services, what happens to the customer? What happens to the employees who serve the customer?
A challenge to businesses: Instead of eliminating departments that focus on people, an investment in the customer might help to mitigate business losses during these times.
History shows that sticking with customer experience pays off
A study done by the Qualtrics XM Institute states that companies that had a customer experience program had stronger stock returns during the 2020 recession.
“Companies with the best customer experience ratings outperformed industry peers’ stock performance between 2019 and 2022”. These companies “doubled their lead over companies that provide poor customer experiences”.
“Those with highly-rated customer experiences saw their stock performance increase 45% between 2019 and 2022, while companies with low customer experience ratings saw their stock returns decline 21% in the same time period.”
Read the article here: Business Wire
If history shows us anything, it is companies that take a thoughtful and strategic approach to their brand experience, as well as thinking about the employee experience can result in gains. It might hurt, but the payoff will be rewarding.
Don’t abandon your customers now
Your customers are reading the same articles about layoffs, and you want to alleviate their fears that your organization can get the job done with the same quality and consistency they have come to know and love.
Now is the not the time to erode customer confidence in your brand. By having them question the quality of performance in their company, they could start to look elsewhere for services, which you don’t want.
Think about the alternative: This time is a great opportunity to show them how much their business means by nurturing and developing the relationship you have already forged. Let them know that you will be focusing on their needs. Let them know that the reason they chose to do business with you will continue.
Customers want to do business with organizations that value people, systems and training to have the confidence that your business is stable.
Other benefits of customer experience focus during times of uncertainty
Time spent on nurturing and building your customer experience and relationships is time that is not spent on acquiring new customers. Acquisition of new customers is more expensive and time consuming. Improving and focusing on customer experience lets organizations know that the customer is still a focus of the organization and keeps them loyal.
93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases at companies with excellent customer service. (HubSpot)
The employee experience is just as affected when layoffs occur and have larger effects on morale and confidence in leadership. Those left are now to take on a greater workload, without their colleagues or contractors that they have come to work with closely every day. Eroding loyalty employees have in your organization can cause them to look elsewhere or check out, affecting productivity and quality. In addition, once things start to normalize those employees might start looking elsewhere, affecting retention.
Use this time to reassure your employees that you will continue to focus on your culture and experience, for both them and the customer. It will give employees the confidence that you are an organization to trust, that cares about its people. And if you need to let people go, do so in good times and bad, and use a thoughtful and strategic approach to minimize impact of the employee and the customer.
The benefits of focusing on the customer experience and employee experience, in good times and bad, far outweigh the risks. Companies that take a people-centric approach can mitigate time wasted on starting over with their customer experience and employee experience efforts. Now is not the time to panic, but to focus on organizational values.
The message that you are committed to the customer experience and the employee experience in your organization during these times matters for long term success.
Don’t know where to start? Let us help you craft messaging that supports your brand and your commitment to people.