Beth Luques, Director of Organizational Learning and Development, and Erinn Cassidy, Vice President of Human Resources recently facilitated a session called “Customer Experience: The (Not So) Secret Sauce from Top Organizations” at the NAA Apartmentalize Conference in San Diego, CA.
Beth kicked the session off with an overview of the importance of the customer experience, its positive impact to the bottom line and how it is expected to be the key brand differentiator in the near future. Using examples from other large companies, Beth drew the line between a positive customer experience and loyal, engaged employees. Erinn then reviewed the different types of engagement, citing a Gallup survey stating that on average, only 31 percent of employees are actively engaged in their job. And perhaps, even more alarming, nearly 20 percent of employees at the average company is actively disengaged, which means they are likely sabotaging the organization’s efforts to be successful.
The balance of the session was focused on sharing the ‘secret sauce’ of how top companies outside of our industry are engaging their employees in a positive way. Examples were shared from companies like Zappos, Starbucks, REI, and Zillow. They concluded that top companies all utilize five common strategies. These include providing interaction with senior leadership, understanding what their employees are thinking, creating a common and intentional culture, offering opportunities to contribute and grow and demonstrating appreciation for all contributions. Beth and Erinn discussed the obstacles to executing these strategies as well as best practices in overcoming those challenges.
The session concluded with audience members sharing their own best practices from within the apartment industry, giving the group several tangible ideas to take home to their organizations.