An Audi of America executive at Forrester Research’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals East 2013 said that by redefining the employee experience, the brand was able to boost customer loyalty.
“Our goal was to redefine the customer experience,” said Jeri Ward, director of customer experience at Audi of America, Washington, D.C. “But first, we had to win over the hearts and minds of our employees.”
Audi took a three-step process to increasing customers’ feelings about the brand, which had to start with the feelings of the employees. Therefore, the brand started the process within the company. Audi executives wanted to get Audi employees focused on a shared mission for the brand, where everyone plays a role. “We wanted to instill passion in them for what they do each and every day,” Ms. Ward said.
To kick start this shared value, Audi headquarters in Germany established the word “Kundenbegeisterung,” which is loosely translated to “Inspiring customer delight,” as the company’s goal. Audi of America took this motto and changed it to “Creating Audi fans.”
Second, Audi decided to go big with its universal company message. The automaker took its executives on a tour around the U.S. to speak and share stories to Audi employees to inspire them about the brand. Executives shared stories about what the brand means to them. In addition to getting employees excited about the brand, these talks were also meant to inspire employees to make personal connections with customers.
“Through this we brought together an experience that was personal, emotional, genuine and fun,” Ms. Ward said. “We needed to immerse our employees in an experience that is replicable at the customer level.”
Lastly, the automaker kept moving forward and lost no time during this company reinvention. “We felt that it was important to keep going because our competition wasn’t sitting still, our employees aren’t waiting and our customers aren’t waiting,” Ms. Ward said. “We brought everyone together in one place and we took this emotional first step. Creating Audi fans is our mission from this point forward.”
This strategy of Audi is a good example of the value of involved employees. When they are happy with the company or brand their working for, the effect to customers would be better as well.
Source: Luxury Daily.