Customer Loyalty Tied to Customer Experiences and Engaged Employees

Regardless of the condition of the economy, people always need to buy things. Many still need accessories like jewelry to complement their work or casual attire. What the recession has changed is the deliberate way in which consumers now spend their money. Not only are customers paying close attention to what they are spending their money on; they are more carefully evaluating how much value they get for each dollar spent and in the process are becoming more aware of the value derived in the relationships they have with their chosen retailers.

Loyalty swings both ways today for consumers and has become more important than ever before. Today customers are evaluating customer service, inventory selection, store aesthetics, and overall shopping experiences like never before. The real retail winners of today have established emotional bonds with customers and while price is understandably important to customers it is not the most important thing. A recent American Express report stated that more than 60 percent of American shoppers are willing to pay more for a product if they receive excellent service. What sort of focus does your store place on your customers’ total shopping experiences?

Employee engagement is strongly tied to customer experience and productivity according to a 2012 report from the Temkin Group. Here are three statements that employees should be able to answer in the affirmative regarding their engagement with the company:

  1. I understand the overall mission of my company.
  2. My company asks for my feedback and acts upon my input.
  3. My company provides me with the training and the tools that I need to be successful.

It is important that employees be highly engaged. The Temkin Group research found that highly engaged employees are:

  • 480 percent more committed to helping their companies succeed
  • 250 percent more likely to do something good for the company that is unexpected of them
  • 250 percent more likely to propose recommendations addressing potential improvements
  • 370 percent more likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job
  • 30 percent less likely to take a sick day

Employee engagement is one of the core competencies available to jewelry stores. Temkin’s quantitative study included more than 2,400 employees from for-profit companies. Another key finding is that disengaged employees comprise an average of 23 percent of their workforce. Can jewelry stores really afford to have one in four employees be disengaged? These employees can be very costly to each company because customer experiences matter so much today.

Dr. Tim Malone served on the faculty of GIA for several years. Well known for his presentations at industry conferences and events, he now consults jewelry companies on how to offer sustainable competitive advantages, more effective differentiation, and sales, marketing, and merchandising management performance improvement. He can be reached at 760-305-7977 or at netvalue@cox.net.