It’s a sad reality that most employees don’t feel connected to their companies. One Gallup survey found that engaged workers comprise less than one-third of the workforce.
And a 2015 survey of nearly 900 employees found that 61 percent of them had considered looking for new jobs in the previous year. Of those, nearly 60 percent felt underappreciated for their efforts at the office.
These are pretty bleak numbers, and they have far-reaching consequences. Your customer-facing employees, after all, are some of your best word-of-mouth marketing machines. If they don’t feel invested in your company, they’ll likely send the wrong message — tanking your brand reputation in the process.
Time and again, you’ve heard that gathering real-time customer feedback is an effective way to keep your customers engaged and your marketing fresh. So why not point that strategy inward? When you create an internal culture built on a foundation of employee feedback, you establish a brand that’s centered on cultivating trust. Customers pay attention to the way employees get treated; and when they see that you invest in communication and transparency, they’ll invest in you.
Here are four reasons you should gather real-time employee feedback:
1. Employees see workplace problems first and firsthand.
Workplace troubles eventually trickle down to your customers if you don’t address them. Fortunately, no one is more aware of these problems than your employees. Not only do they see problems unravel around them, but they often are the ones to pinpoint them before they explode.
Your employees are, in fact, filters and funnels for workplace issues. When you provide them with open lines of feedback, you’ll get the opportunity to address problems before they make their way into your customer shopping and buying processes.
2. All employees want a voice.
When conducting surveys, many employers limit participation to their marketing departments. However, all employees should be invested in marketing your company, and they probably have great ideas you haven’t thought of. Lower-level employees working on the production line or on logistics might have ideas that can help you land a profitable client, but you’ll never know if you don’t invite feedback.
3. Employees understand your products better than anyone else.
If you want to build a better product, start by asking your employees for their feedback. Not only do your employees understand the ins and outs of your products or services, but they also work with vendors, distributors and suppliers — all of whom can help take your business to the next level.
Your employees can provide deep insights that your C-suite is blind to. And when you have their insights documented via surveys and feedback forms, you can create a gold mine for improving your products and your marketing processes.
4. Employees perform better when they feel heard.
Employees who love their jobs perform at their highest levels of productivity, increasing overall profit levels. And when a company has higher levels of profit, it can devote more funds to marketing — increasing customer count and profits even more.
When it comes to stepping up your marketing efforts, start by looking right under your nose. These frontline workers understand customers the best. Their helpful insights can pave the way to new marketing techniques that the marketing department may have never thought of.
If your company is looking to improve its marketing endeavors — and it should be — make sure you’re looking within your company first. Your employees are paid to do what they do, but they’re also an inexhaustible platform for attracting new customers through their feedback.