Brands need to invest in their people

  • Top brands continue to decline because their employees are not engaged in their jobs.
  • There are many reasons why brands fail, but one of the biggest reasons is that too many companies don’t treat their employees well.
  • People are often willing to pay more for a better brand and product experience.

When it comes to market share Hertz is still number one in the rental car business but that won’t last.  Glassdoor has just released the worst companies to work for and right there in the top 20 is Hertz.  If you don’t treat your employees well can you really expect to maintain market share?

As a frequent business traveler, I haven’t used Hertz for over 5 years.  The product they offer just can’t compare to what National and others offer.  I have found that the people working at Hertz to be generally too methodical and lack real customer service.  If this keeps up their share will continue to decline.

“Our people are our most valuable resource.” “What makes this company great is its employees.” How many times have you heard platitudes like these? Unfortunately, at most companies, that’s exactly what statements like these amount to. Most company leaders worry first about pleasing their investors, next about making their customers happy. Giving employees what they want comes in a distant third.

While the jury is still out on Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition you could make a strong argument that the people who made Whole Foods great are leaving.   However, Jeff Bezos, who is one of the richest people in the world, has a habit of underpaying employees leading to high turnover yet Amazon is the darling of Wall Street.  This is a curious paradox, but I would argue that eventually it’s going to catch up to Amazon’s brand.  Already I see complaints that people aren’t receiving their prime shipments on time and not too long ago Amazon actually closed the accounts of people who returned too many items.

8 in 10 Consumers willing to pay more for a better customer experience as big business falls short on expectations

While three-quarters (75%) of organizations believe themselves to be customer-centric, only 30% of consumers agree. Frustrated by organizations that don’t listen to their feedback or reward their loyalty,[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] the majority of consumers are willing to increase their spend with an organization in return for a better experience (81%)[/inlinetweet]. Yet, nearly a third of businesses (31%) say they face a challenge in keeping up with the rapidly evolving technology landscape and consumers’ digital expectations.

A survey by research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers validates what many cable customer service executives have been saying for years – customers want a better experience and are willing to pay more for.  Globally, 60% of respondents said they would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service, 46% said unknowledgeable employees, and 50% said a lack of company trust would force them to sever the relationship. About 32% said they would walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.

Despite these facts most companies will take the extra revenue from increased prices and apply it the bottom line rather than investing in employees.  This is a serious mistake.  Less than 30% of Millennials say they intend to stay with their current employers and that should be a huge red flag for every business.

Today, it’s not always about the “lowest price, ” it’s about the product and customer experience.  Confining employees in back to back meetings and analyzing data to the point of analysis paralysis doesn’t add one dime of value to your brand.  I hope soon more brands come to realize this.