Connecting the employee and customer experience is critical to a company’s success. Simply put you need happy employees to get happy customers. Granted it’s not rocket science, but you would be amazed at how many companies don’t focus on the employee experience. Most of the investment and focus tends to be on improving the customer experience but improving the employee experience is as important if not more. IDC discovered that 85% of respondents agree that an improved employee experience and higher employee engagement translate to a better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction and higher revenues for their organisation (IDC 2021).
The Great Resignation
The pandemic forced people to re-evaluate their jobs and lives, and Microsoft revealed that 47% prioritise health and well-being over work and CC Insight revealed that 26% of employees are considering leaving their job in the next 12 months, with 34% for employees under 40 and 50% of employees who have been at the company for less than two years. This has led to the ‘Great Resignation’ and more talent available in the market so companies will have to work hard to not only attract employees but to retain, engage and develop as well.
Take them on a Mission
Creating a powerful and clear mission statement, vision and brand values will ensure that all employees understand and support your business and what it stands for. They will feel more connected to the company and feel part of a team working for shared success. Starbucks refer to employees as partners and their CEO Kevin Johnson states “I’m a believer in embracing new ways of learning and creating opportunities for people and I believe that great things happen when you do that.”
Empower your employees with a new dynamic culture that fosters creativity, transparency, and authenticity. Provide them with the autonomy to be make business decisions if required to improve the customer experience rather than going through the hierarchy to seek approval for every move. Research from Gartner’s Corporate Culture Survey reveals that 89% of their company considers what is important to the customer but only 73% of employees feel that they have the authority to take actions to meet customers’ needs.
If your company is advocating customer experience, then you need to give your employees the skills and autonomy to change it. Changing your employee’s behaviour to change customer behaviour is fundamental.
Creating a culture of engaged, invested and happy employees is part of what keeps a company vibrant, growing, and successful. Research shows that companies with high engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%. Customer experience is a direct result of employee experience.
Happiness is so important for employees’ well-being that over 1,500 companies around the world have a Chief Happiness Officer because there is a growing desire to feature a happiness on their agendas. This is prevalent in the technology industry with companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Spotify.
You need to understand your employee’s journey. You can survey your employees, hold one to ones and workshops to find out what is important to them in the workplace whether that’s work/life balance, flexibility, their beliefs and ethics, the social element and/or training and development. If you don’t ask them, you won’t find out and won’t be able to improve their experience.
Once companies have determined employee satisfaction then customer satisfaction becomes easier and creates a continuous feedback loop. Deloitte notes that 80% of executives rate EX as important for their company but only 20% feel that their EX is excellent. People are your business, without people you have no business, it’s time to make them your business and walk in their shoes.
Changing the way we work
The pandemic has changed the way we work, and companies have had to reinvent their strategies accordingly for hybrid and remote working, changes in supply and demand and customer services. Accenture revealed that 78% of CEOs said business reinvention is required and businesses need to put people first and foremost followed by processes and technology.
Employees now want to hybrid work between home and the office, the best of both worlds. Companies need to accept and embrace the change in employees’ expectations and implement a hybrid working plan for flexible working that is fluid with the ability to change accordingly. Many companies are attempting to get employees back into the office but forcing employees to go back on site could result in employers losing up to 39% of their workforce. On the plus side, 82% of companies are planning to offer hybrid working model (Hanover Research March 2021) which is vital to attracting and retaining talent.
Microsoft research revealed that 66% of business decision makers are considering re-designing their physical offices to accommodate hybrid working environments and create a better employee experience. Offices will be re-designed with collaboration in mind, so when employees come into the office there will be dedicated spaces for teams to work and collaborate in, rather than for individual working.
Enabling with technology
In the Cloud
Companies that do not host their communications infrastructure in the cloud are advised to do so. IDC 2020 survey revealed that more than 35% of organisations would move to the cloud. This is accelerated because ISDN and PSTN will be switched off next year with no support so now is the perfect time to move to the cloud and benefit from IP and/or SIP technology. Businesses will benefit from cost-savings, augment their business continuity strategy, have more flexibility to add on new technology when required and move to a simplified infrastructure.
As hybrid and remote working is mainstream companies need to deploy a unified communications solution for employees to communicate and collaborate with each other so they can have video calls, work on shared documents, and send instant messages. These solutions enable them to be connected virtually. However, one of the big challenges is the gap between the front-line workers and desk-based employees because the former can’t take advantage of it so it’s vital that technology is accessible to everyone.
Empower your employees and involve them in sharing their perceptions and ideas to improve their experience and the customers. Work with them and ask them what changes in processes and what technology they require to do their jobs more effectively.
Technology provides the ability for employees to get creative on how they use it to benefit themselves and the customer. By providing them with tools that give them access to data and autonomy they can make improved decisions to improve their roles and the customer experience.
Big Up Your Contact Centre
A total of 70% CIOs are looking to create a digital workplace to improve customer interactions/experience as working at home will be the norm. AI and automation technology solutions enables customers to self-serve freeing up agents’ time so they can focus on speaking to customers for more in-depth problems. This also enables them to remove the mundane and repetitive making the agent’s job more interesting therefore retaining staff and reducing the cost to re-train.
AI solutions simplify and augment the agents’ and customers’ experience with the ability to listen into interactions and prompt the next best action based upon data insights. Providing seamless transitions from a chat bot using a transcript or sentiment so a human agent can intelligently pick up where the technology left it. The multi-faceted omni channel makes it easy for agents and customers to move from one channel to another in real time. By providing the right tools you can use technology to empower and not hinder.
Go for Integration
Technology deployments will not be a success unless they are integrated into the front and back office. Many companies’ customer experience suffers because teams struggle to connect customer service with their operations so it results in a disjointed service and silos of what each department is doing. Integration is essential for the sharing of data for the employee and customer experience so managers can analyse the insights and make good business decisions to improve both.
The answers are in the data
Studying the employee experience and customer experience data will provide you with insight into what is right and wrong with each enabling you to make the changes accordingly.
When you look to improve the employee and the customer experience ensure that you have a methodology to collect and analyse the data. And most importantly when you do analyse and spot trends then follow through and act on them accordingly with business decisions to improve both experiences.
Connecting the dots
By improving your employee experience first followed by your customer’s experience and joining them together to identify gaps and opportunities you will increase revenue, have a happier and more productive workforce that will stay longer at your company, attract talent and improve customer service. The connection between the EX and CX is a continuous loop and that will drive each other forward. It’s a win win!