The Important User Experience You’re Probably Ignoring

| April 8, 2015
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When we talk about the user experience, most of us are referring to the users of your products or services—also known as your customers. But there’s another important group you’re probably not considering when it comes to the user experience: your employees.

Think about it. Your employees are your greatest advocates. They know your products and services inside and out, and have opinions about everything that goes on within your organization. But how often are you measuring your employees’ experience with your product or services—and your culture and organization? Do you know how your employees feel about coming to work every day? How do you think their answers impact your customers’ experience?

Still not convinced? Check out these three reasons why you should be focused on your employees’ experience just as much as your customers’.

1. Your employees are your most important brand advocates.

Your best marketing tool is right down the hall. A recent study revealed that at least 88% of employees engaged with at least one social media platform, and 50% of them post about their employers occasionally. With that kind of coverage your company could become famous—or infamous—depending on how your employees feel about their work.

Think about how this impacts everyone that interacts with your brand. What do you think the first thing a potential customer does when they’re researching your company and your competitors? They Google you. They scan your Twitter feed. They look you up on Facebook. What they find depends not only on your customers’ experience but, you guessed it, your employees’ experience, too. If your employees are engaged and feel connected and aligned with your company, your customers will likely see them retweeting company posts, commenting on the brand, and even proudly bragging about the product.

Now imagine your employee has a terrible experience at work. That experience could make its way to social media for anyone to see and it’s probably not going to win you any points with your audience. And if you’re lucky enough not to take a hit online, you’re not out of the woods yet. Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing tool, and when an employee has a lousy experience, she’s going to tell all her friends and family, and then they tell two friends, and then they tell two friends…you get the picture. Not good.

Remember, your employees are your brand—and they’re your strongest brand advocates. Make sure they know you value their experience just as much as your customers’ and you’ll cultivate a solid base of loyal supporters.

2. Happy employees will help your bottom line.

Employee engagement has become a buzzword for human resources and executives alike—and for good reason. Study after study shows that giving your employees the attention and culture they need translates—among many other benefits—into increased profits. Since 1998, the companies on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list outperformed the S&P by nearly 2 to 1. Yeah, 2 to 1.

There’s a reason Google finds itself on just about every list of great places to work and is one of the most profitable companies in the U.S. The company’s focus on creating an irresistible culture that empowers employees and makes them feel aligned to the company’s mission is no accident. Google knows its secret weapon is its employees, and they do everything they can to make sure they have an incredible experience.

So what did Google get out of it? “Googling” has become a verb, just getting an interview there is considered an achievement by job seekers and its stock price currently hovers just over $500 per share. That’s not a coincidence.

Create a fantastic user experience for your employees, and everyone—especially your customers—will reap the benefits.

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3.  Your employees will find a better experience if you don’t give it to them.

Finding the right employee for the job and your company’s culture isn’t easy. So when you do find them, you want them to stick around. Employees that have a great experience with a company are 87% less likely to look for another job.

Can you really afford to lose great talent that makes such an impact on your business? Your employees have a lot of choices when it comes to where they work and they’re smart—just like your customers.

If your employees don’t get what they want or need from their experience with you, they’ll find it elsewhere, and your customers probably will, too.

Start with employee experience.

You’ve put a lot of effort into building your company. From hiring the best and brightest, to developing a fantastic product that you’ve tested until it’s perfect, you may think you’ve thought of everything. But if you’re not paying attention to one of the biggest factors in your customer experience—your employees—you’re missing out on a huge driver for growth.

Create a culture that values honest, real-time feedback, and encourage employees to chime in on everything from daily operations to product design. Your employees are your first customers, and they deserve an experience that’s just as phenomenal as your customers’.

Your employee experience is where your customer experience begins.

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