I was talking with an employee of Starbucks here in Seattle and he asked me an intriguing question. (This was off the record, so I won’t use his name.)
“Micah, in the research and consulting that you do on company culture and the customer experience, what do you think:
Do you think Starbucks cares more about its employees, or about its customers?”
I didn’t have an answer for him. And, it turned out, this was his point. “I’ve worked here a long time, and I’ve thought about it for a while. And I just don’t know. I think Starbucks cares about both groups. A lot. Equally, in fact.”
I find this so heartening, especially because 2013 has been quite a year of business owners kissing off employees, and kissing off customers, in nearly equal numbers.
Some employee-antagonistic brands have taken hits directly to the bottom line due to their backward policies. And brands keep finding out for themselves that treating customers poorly is as bad for the bottom line as it should be.
I think the trick here is pretty simple: By and large, and in the long run, companies that treat employees well are the same companies that treat their customers well. Look at any list of “best companies to work for” and compare it side by side with a list of “best companies to buy from.” They’re pretty similar lists.
Can I suggest this as our customer experience and corporate culture goal for 2014? Let’s strive to create the same confusion at our companies as to whom we’re treating better: our employees or our customers.
Happy New Year.
Source: Forbes Business