PayPal: Be The Customer
In a social media age, disruptive ideas, products and services spread when trustworthy people recommend them.
Employees are often neglected as power advocates for a brand, but PayPal grew its business substantially when it realised that many of its 15,000 employees were using cards or other payment options instead of PayPal. So it invited them to Be The Customer, challenging and urging them to be active brand advocates PayPal product users.
This long-term commitment saw employees awarded points when they used PayPal or found bugs and suggested improvements. In just nine months, nearly 7,000 employees had signed up, generating more than $22 million in payment volume. PayPal payments at employee cafeterias, which had accounted for only 13% of sales, had more than quadrupled to 66% within the first four months. Employees identified at least 300 product bugs and suggested 75% more ideas for product improvements than the previous year. In the first nine months of 2014, the company acted on these, improving the experience for 95 million customer transactions and resulting in $2.5 billion in additional revenue. Employees became so passionate about referring merchants to accept PayPal that 8,600 employees participated in PayPal It, the merchant referral programme, generating 369,000 leads and 114 new merchants who generated $6m in payment volume.
Be The Customer helped contribute to 2014 revenue growth of 19% over the same period in 2013. Be The Customer scooped a 2015 PRWeek Global award for Employee Communications and PRSA Big Apple Award for Reputation and Brand Management.