The changing employee-customer engagement paradigm

An article in the Gallup Business Journal reflects on the "power of the employee-customer encounter" noting that the "moment when an employee connects emotionally with a customer has
profound implications for a company's productivity and profitability." The path to that connection, which almost immediately translates into better ROI, is dynamic and affected by changes in the marketplace.

Gallup's article suggests that the "connection between employee and customer has to be central to what
every leader and every manager thinks about every single day." Absent that, an organization will "miss maximizing the
employee or miss an opportunity with their customers." In some instances it could simply involve
getting rid of obsolete rules imposed due to particular situations in
the past.

The Journal also notes that technology requires the engagement process to be dynamic as younger customers deal with service situations very differently to those of an earlier generation. There is an implicit loss of emotional contact due to technology as the former prefer to use indirect contact across multiple channels while the latter prefer voice or in-person interactions.  Nevertheless, developing the emotional quotient for Gen Y and X via technology is an on-going process for researchers like Gallup and for companies with the most obvious way being making those techology based interactions across multiple channels interactive as in real time responses to SMS or Twitter inquiries.

Also apropos the foregoing,is a new study on Customer Experience Management by the Aberdeen Group, a Boston based business intelligence research provider. The Aberdeen study  notes that customer
retention is 82% for companies with a high level of customer engagement
practices versus 24% for laggard companies. The company's report  was based on its "Chief Service Officer Summit" held earlier this year. 

Yet another organization, The Temkin Group, showed that
"engaged employees are three and a half times more likely than disengaged employees to
do something good for the company and nearly six times more inclined to be committed to helping their organisation succeed."

 The path forward for businesses across sectors requires the adoption of a sustained commitment to a program that calls for a dynamic improvement in the quality and consistency of the service
experience as it increasingly becomes a metaphor for sales and marketing. New media and channels will require different responses for advancing the service imperative in a way that addresses the need to build up the emotional quotient for latter day customers.



Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.