Empower and Reward – If you Love your Customers – Love your Employees

Why would a marketing nerd like me write about this…

After having a very interesting debate on Twitter with @_jorgen_e and @simonistic regarding compensation and organizational structure, I had to go back to my earlier blog posts on organizations and pondered how would I propose empowerment of the employees and how to design a compensation plan incl bonuses.

Challenging as it is, it is also something that have disturbed me for quite some time because I see an unnecessary imbalance and inefficiency when it comes to customer relations and business growth paired and how you manage your employees. Much of todays internal structures also gives that many employees feel dissatisfied or down right hostile to their employer but dare not challenge or change job due to the economy.

So what is my take on empowerment and how to compensate in my idea of an organization?

Well something like this as for a starter

Customer and Employee Empowerment

Let me explain what might not be obvious

Sales and Customer Service (incl implementation teams etc) owns the customer experience but they cannot alone deliver unless Marketing and Development contribute and continuously communicate and learn from those in the front line. Sales on the other hand cannot just do the deals and deliver terms that are not possible to meet for Customer Service and Development.

Here comes the first intervention from Top Management, they must understand that focus should not only be on numbers in sales above all. They must have a focus that include both Sales but equally important  Employee and Customer Experience… Because neither will be happy if terms are either impossible to meet when it comes to implementation or service and customer will be seriously disgruntled if they do not get promised delivery.

To deliver  a proper Employee and Customer Experience you need to ensure that your internal processes function, I will try to illustrate below the flow

The majority of customer response flow back to the company via Customer Services, Sales and Marketing and they should have a very profound impact on the Development teams work, and should be part of the iteration in the development process. If they are not very closely integrated they will get the wrath from the customers which will lead to…

So by each iteration and development all department that are directly facing customers regarding the products or services should be involved in the development process or at least should they have proper briefing and training before anything is unleashed on to the customers.

Employee disgruntlement will give the Top Management a belly ache maybe not in 3 to 6 months but in the long run since it will increase departure of competent employees, bad customer service and just pure disinterest of tasks which will accelerate to an increasingly bad Customer Experience. Which of course will have a profound impact on the company’s revenue, reputation and therefore accelerate the downward spiral through Dante’s Hell.

How will this structure impact Compensation then?

Employee Experience is as I have above discussed extremely important for delivering of Customer Experience and how do you the deliver it in a compensation form part from involving every of the customer facing and back-office teams.

The exact formula is for a talented HR-person, not me, to calculate but I will take a stab at a basic structure.

Starting with Top Management and here I include Senior Department Managers and Finance bonus program, the one really hot topic in media and even in the world of politics. Top Management bonuses has been on virtually every agenda for quite some time now…

Basis for the Top Management bonuses should in my opinion be:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Company Revenue Growth (Not profit based on firing or outsourcing Employees)
  • Company Innovation & Invention (See article about Amazon)
  • Time spent in customer facing activities and other departments especially important for Finance that are  a often viewed as the plague by ALL other departments

Sales bonuses should be based on the following

  • Deals done, after deal implemented/delivered to customer satisfaction
  • Sales involvement in customer service resolution/account management
  • Company Innovation & Invention (See article about Amazon)
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Company Revenue Growth
Customer Service bonuses is the hardest one to define but I will give it a try and yes innovation and invention should be there since customer service team might come with solutions to development based on their customer engagement.
  • Customer Satisfaction – ranking of satisfaction in how Customer Service meet the customers.
  • Company Innovation & Invention (See article about Amazon)
  • Company Revenue Growth
Marketing and Development are quite closely tied together since they at least should walk hand in hand. Marketing should be one of the key stakeholders for new ideas to Developments process.
  • Company Innovation & Invention (See article about Amazon)
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Company Revenue Growth
  • For Marketing only – Brand Specific Metrics
  • For Development – Customer satisfaction for usage
This is probably just an utopia but if I got presented to a company structure that looks like this and a compensation/bonus program that is structured in this fashion it would very much increase my interest to apply for a job and probably also stay within the company.
And to answer my opening question… it is most certainly very good for business and an excellent thing to market and would make hiring of top talents very easy…

One thought on “Empower and Reward – If you Love your Customers – Love your Employees

  1. Pingback: målgrupper? köpare? följare? tribe? ambassadors? – | Marcom-by-thought

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