When your great customer experience drives your employees crazy





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When Your Great Customer Experience Drives Your Employees Crazy


Hick's Law says that the more we are faced with choices, the harder it is for us to choose. Probably best explained in great book The paradox of choice By Barry Schwartz, Hick's Law Is Why You Should Be Amazed When You Try Grain Selection At Kroger: Too. much. types. of the. cereal.


Increasingly, we are trying to shorten our decision-making process by drawing on the combined opinions of others who have experienced what we seek. Psychologically, this is a factor in ratings and reviews for sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, ApartmentRatings.com, RealSelf.com (plastic surgery reviews) and hundreds of other opinion-gathering sites. and present them with a score of one to five stars.



The companionship bias that gives rise to these sites is due to our relative distrust of messages from companies and organizations and our comparative view of the emotions of our fellow human beings. Research cited from BrightLocal says that more than 80 percent of people trust at least some online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family members. On the other hand, companies are trusted about half the time.


I suspect our reliance on ratings and reviews will continue to escalate. After all, who has time to find the best in your field? Just compare their average ratings and make a decision that way.


One intriguing aspect of the increase in ratings and reviews, however, is the adoption of similar data collection for employers. Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com are leaders in the fast-growing employer reviews category. Both companies use these ratings as a powerful content marketing initiative to drive awareness and interest in their recruitment and placement services.


Both sites are very hot. Website traffic puts Glassdoor as 202 Busiest site in the US and Indeed at number 27 according to SimilarWeb data.


Furthermore, more and more companies (including consulting customers our team at Convince & Convert) are increasingly interested in how they are depicted on these sites. Why? The current job market is almost historically tight, with job seekers holding onto cards in a way they haven't in years. If you are looking for a job in retail, hospitality, insurance, healthcare, home construction or anything else and you have a lot to choose from, why NOT compare employers? your potential hire on sites like this to see what current / former employees have to say about policy, culture and environment?


As a result, sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor provide a snapshot of how well companies are performing in meeting customer expectations, while sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, provide a glimpse into the future. similar in terms of conformance with employee expectations.


It's an age-old maxim that companies that provide a good customer experience often also provide a good employee experience. . This correlation is not a coincidence, as it often speaks to underlying culture and values. In fact, many researchers believe that one applies to the other; Treating your employees well shows naturally in improving the customer experience. To pick just a few examples, customer experience leaders like Southwest, Ritz-Carlton, and USAA are generally known to be good places to work.


But sometimes, what customers want and what employees like swing in opposite directions, like magnets of opposite polarity or the Gallagher brothers at a family gathering.


Customer vs. Employee Experience at Olive Garden


One New research project from Brain + Trust Insights demonstrate how this can happen, this time at the Olive Garden Restaurant. Brain + Trust Insights is a new consulting firm that uses big data and machine learning to uncover interesting and applicable facts about brands and behaviour. The company is led by my great friend Christopher S. Penn who is definitely the best an interesting person I know.


For this project, Chris and his team digitally imported (using IBM Watson Analytics) 2,547 Glassdoor reviews of Olive Garden, highlights, 844 – owned Italian food chain restaurant location owned by the Darden Restaurant Group.


Across all reviews, the company has an average score of 3.5 out of 5, as of April 2018. 64 percent of workers would recommend the company to a friend and 76 percent approved by the Director. operating company. Those numbers are pretty solid for a national restaurant chain.


In comparison, Outback Steakhouse and The Cheesecake Factory averaged 3.6, and Chili's maintained a rating of 3.4.


Despite generally positive reviews, Olive Garden should seek to improve the experience and attitudes of its employees, for three reasons:



  1. Happier employees will provide better service, improve customer retention and profitability.

  2. Employee turnover is a huge expense for all restaurants, costing millions of dollars in training costs for a large chain like Olive Garden, and reducing employee experience and expertise as a result of revenue.

  3. In a tight labor market, it might be easier to maintain full staff if Olive Garden can meaningfully outperform its competitors on average e Glassdoor's Score.


It's worth moving from relative satisfaction to true happiness in the ranks of the staff at Olive Garden. And analysis by Brain + Trust Insights shows that this is indeed happening. Negative reviews and low review scores among employees have steadily declined since 2014. But much can and should be done. How?


Curse of free bread


Change the free bread policy.


You may know that a signature Olive Garden experience is having sandwiches delivered to your table once you've taken your seat. And one of the most popular items on the menu is $11.99 with unlimited soups, salads, and sandwiches.


The restaurant's patrons are very fond of bread. Many employees don't like it, and the data shows this to be the case, as multiple team members leaving Glassdoor reviews specifically mention that bread bars, in particular, set them up failing. because they constantly have to refill the bread basket or because the sandwiches inevitably get less delicious when they sit for a few minutes.


Specific comments included, “You are nothing but a slave to the sandwiches” and “Unlimited salads and sandwiches suck. ”


On the operational front, Olive Garden has to balance the rampant, near-fatal popularity of the soup/salad/bread combination — which drives nearly 80 percent of all social media buzz. brand association, says Penn — and the accompanying fact that it's what customers love that is making team members unhappy.


This is a classic game theory. What does it take to consistently recruit new customers if you're NOT getting an incentive from bread, and how does that compare to the cost and impact of a disgruntled partial workforce?


There are two lessons here. First, with our passion for providing a better customer experience (which is often a good thing), we can have unintended consequences. And second, applying machine learning to analyze previously unknown data sets and gain insights is useful and interesting in many contexts.


I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch, if it's just bread.


Download the full report from Brain + Trust Insights here .







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