NACCM 2010: Westfield Creates a Culture of WOW through Employee Engagement

Westfield Creates a Culture of WOW through Employee Engagement
Presented by Andre Harris, Westfield’s VP Brand and Employee Communications, NACCM 2010

Connect with employees to create the customer experience.

Westfield isn’t just a landlord or owner of shopping malls: they manage all aspects of the shopping experience for the properties they own, and want to make sure they deliver a differentiated experience. Westfield’s ‘WOW’ used to be a program, and Andre has now been able to transform it into the overall culture, which includes their partners and vendors:
Way beyond the expected.
Own it personally.
Win over their hearts.

Andre shared their -steps to create a Culture of WOW:

1. HEAR the voice-of-the customer: Know what customers want, expect, and value. They respond to 100% of complaints, since satisfied customers tell 3 friends but angry customers tell 3,000, and a complaint is an opportunity to WOW.

2. HIRE ‘wow’ employees: The culture is part of everyone’s job descriptions.
A great example: A hiring manager wanted to give candidates gift bags. The thinking is that even though they aren’t hiring all these people, they are still a Westfield customer and should be treated well.

3. TRAIN: They have a clear understanding of their purpose, so everyone, including outsourced employees and executives, go through WOW Training. The training details 7 critical areas, including ‘Make their Day’ and ‘Represent.’ Empowerment, recognition, and reward are critical success factors. Telling success stories not only makes it more real and memorable, but also provides real solutions and answers to the questions that employees bring from their daily interactions with customers.

4. MEASURE: Customer, Retailer, and Employee satisfaction surveys are all part of the process. Employee turnover is a key measure as an indicator of customer experience, and of course also adds to the bottom-line.
[Posted by Steve Bernstein of Waypoint Group and cross-posted on Customer Insight = Revenue blog]