09:49 AM

To better serve customers, we’re focusing on employees

By Amy Shore, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer 

When you visit a local store or your favorite restaurant, it’s not uncommon to notice ‘Help Wanted’ signs in the window and a level of customer service that isn’t quite what it used to be. It’s an issue that organizations everywhere are coping with as they struggle to keep and find talented employees.  

In times of instability, like this world we’re living in now, an organization’s success lives and dies by its culture. That’s why at Nationwide we are focusing on ways to deliver the best experience possible for customers while helping our employees find professional fulfillment.

At Nationwide, we know that delivering a great customer experience starts with listening.   We created a Voice of the Customer program to provide valuable insights to employees on the customer experience. The program listens, analyzes and applies data that measures and monitors the quality of the experience we are providing, which employees use to innovate. In addition to better understanding the voice of the customer, we are giving employee’s a platform to internally share feedback. These forums enable employees to provide perspectives on customers’ experiences and how we can make enhancements.

But delivering a great customer experience goes beyond the application of data and insights. In any industry, the best customer experience tends to come from organizations where employees find satisfaction in their jobs and believe in what they’re doing.  In fact, finding purpose in a job and career has an even greater importance today. The pandemic has created a reflection point for many people, leading them to re-evaluate their careers to focus on what’s most important for them. They have developed more of a sense of purpose and desire for a full-life experience – it’s not just about work. At Nationwide, we’ve learned to embrace that.

In the past year, we have taken several steps to further strengthen our culture to give employees the tools and training they need to succeed. We have established north star customer experience principles to help teams understand how we want our brand to feel to customers   Additionally, we are embracing flexible work schedules and locations, and consistently refreshing the employee experience. 

We are also preparing the workforce of the future, by providing upskilling courses and learning opportunities, asking all employees to complete eight hours of training each year, and equipping leaders to succeed in a hybrid workplace model.  Specific courses on improving customer experiences have been curated.  In 2021, associates took over 10,000 CX courses.

With these moves, we are being deliberate about investments in our culture, which is enabling and empowering employees to deliver extraordinary care more easily. And it’s paying off.

Nationwide contracts with Gallup to conduct an annual employee culture survey that tracks employees’ engagement and commitment to serve customers. In 2022, Nationwide achieved its highest level of engagement, placing us in the top 2 percent of companies in Gallup’s worldwide database.

Likewise, Nationwide’s customer index scores also continued to trend upwards. Almost all employees, 97 percent, agree or strongly agree that they understand how their role impacts the customer experience. And 92 percent agree or strongly agree they are empowered to deliver on our mission of providing extraordinary care. These trends indicate Nationwide employees are engaged and feel empowered to serve customers more than ever before.

At Nationwide, we understand that culture is at the core of delivering extraordinary care to customers.  Customers can be confident that are committed to protecting what matters most to them now and into the future.