Raising two daughters means I’ve watched more than my fair share of princess movies. No, I don’t know every word to “Let it Go,” but I could probably quote “The Princess Diaries” start to finish.
Of all classic Disney lines, the iconic, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” from 1938’s “Snow White” is arguably one of the most widely recited.
Your financial institution isn’t exactly an evil stepmother. Well, at least I hope not! But it can gain serious insight on the bank and credit union member experience by taking an honest look in the mirror.
Specifically: Does the experience your employees have at your financial institution match the experience you want your consumers to have?
Instead of asking, “Who’s the fairest of them all?” ask yourself these employee-driven questions to get a better idea of the consumer experience you’re really delivering.
- Do employees feel welcomed from day one on the job?
I’ve worked with credit unions who literally roll out a red carpet for a new employee—whether they’re an executive or a janitor. The entire staff cheers as the person walks into the branch looking and feeling like a celebrity. The first impression they have of the credit union is, “You matter, and we’re glad you’re here.” Isn’t that the message you want your consumers to hear too? If so, then you have to communicate it to employees first.
- When was the last time the employee breakroom got a sprucing?
We’ve said it before: branding touches everything from the boardroom to the bathroom. This principle applies to the consumer experience too. If your public bathrooms look like Ritz Carlton while your employee breakroom looks like McDonald’s, then you have more than a brand gap issue. You have an employee appreciation issue. Employees need to feel they’re part of something, not used for something.
As Bruce Kimbrell, business programs facilitator for the Disney Institute, says of the Disney culture, “People come back again and again because our leaders focus on the internal client, the cast member. The cast members feel that from the time they are hired—they know we care about them. They, in turn, understand the importance of providing a level of service to the external clients.”
- What do our employees say about us?
What your employees say about your credit union or bank is what customers are going to hear first. When our team runs mystery shops during a marketing audit, we ask the question, “Why should I bank here?”
Most consumers aren’t bold enough to ask the question outright, but it’s ultimately that underlying question driving everything else. By giving employees an amazing, brand-centered experience on the job, you create brand ambassadors who don’t have any trouble delivering a positive answer to that million-dollar question.
Why do these questions matter? Because engaged employees impact bottom line.
Gallup found that only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. Another Gallup study found that an actively disengaged employee—someone working against your brand and mission—costs their organization $3,400 for every $10,000 in salary. With numbers like that, the money you spend on employee appreciation is undoubtedly worth the cost of a disengaged employee!
Now that my girls are grown, I watch a few less princess movies than I used to (welcome back, man card.) But I still invest intentional time in them and constantly look for ways to grow our relationships. In the same way, the more you invest in your employees, the more committed they’ll be to invest in your customers.