Managing the Customer Experience in Employee Programs

Customer Experience

How important is the customer experience? It’s the culmination of every moment interacting with your company: from your marketing or website process to your sales reps or phone operators to the delivery experience and beyond. Every moment spent with that customer or end recipient reflects on you. How you manage the customer experience says everything about your brand. When the employee is the customer, are you intentionally consistent to your brand attributes?

In many instances, company executives define brand attributes, they work with marketing or their agency to develop a brand personality, and then everyone goes back to their day-to-day activities. EVERY interaction with a customer should be weighed against the brand attributes; this is just as true in employee recognition programs where your employees are the customers:

  • Has the program been branded to be consistent with company values?
  • Is the program platform intuitive and easy to navigate?
  • Are rules and point earning opportunities spelled out clearly?
  • How difficult is it to reach a human being for customer service issues?
  • Are the rewards memorable and consistent with our brand?
  • Is the reward packaging and delivery method eye-catching and memorable?
  • Is the program marketed properly both digitally and on printed materials?
  • Is the entire program dynamic and allowed to continually evolve?

The Incentive Research Foundation (The IRF) studies conclude that, in the world of corporate rewards and recognition, the presentation and/or delivery of a reward is almost as important as the reward itself.

In internal employee reward and recognition programs, your employees ARE your customers. Partnering with a professional firm that is experienced in designing and fulfilling incentive, reward and recognition programs will ensure that your recipient’s expectations are met or exceeded.

For instance, when companies view merchandise rewards as a commodity, they may be tempted to look to big box stores or order items online. The experience of receiving a brown corrugated box left on your porch is quite different than a personalized gift, wrapped like a gift (perhaps in company colors with the logo), including a hand-written note – possibly in a public presentation in front of co-workers. Are you intentional about the messages you’re communicating to your employees through your programs?

Your brand is a promise to both internal and external customers, setting expectations for what they can expect from every interaction with your company. Making sure that the ways in which you reward and recognize employees are consistent with your brand will keep that promise and meet those expectations.



Heidi Chatfield


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