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Customer experience and employees – two sides of the same coin

6 min read
Find out how focusing on the employee experience can help you drive improvements in your customer experience metrics.

Removing data silos across different parts of the organisation and moving towards a more customer KPI driven CX program requires serious buy-in on the part of your employees. After all, they’re the ones who’ll be delivering on it.

To be successful, a customer experience program should become ingrained in the culture of your organisation and embedded in the day to day working practices of staff, whether they’re customer-facing or not.

The strategy, measurement and management platform are just one of the three key elements of a successful CX program:

  • HEAD – the measurement and management of your program, these are your agreed objectives, tools and processes you’ve put in place to run your CX program
  • HEART – the engagement of your people to get behind and drive change by establishing customer experience values and purpose within the organisation
  • HANDS – the systems, training and mechanisms that allow your frontline employees to make real-time decisions on behalf of the organisation

The last of these is often the hardest to get right, and possibly the most daunting too – particularly in sectors like financial services which historically have not operated with such flexibility. Essentially you’re enabling frontline employees to make unilateral decisions to step in and improve the experience for your customers on behalf of the organisation and that can be a daunting one for an organisation.

Getting the first two right however, will help to allay those fears – with your strategy and systems all in place and the values and purpose of your programme embedded across the organisation, it becomes much easier to provide customer-facing staff that kind of freedom to shape the customer experience.

Align Your Employee Culture to Your Cx Strategy

Any business transformation starts with employee culture – without it, it can be near impossible to see changes through.

It’s likely you already have some employee engagement programs in place, maybe they’ve been running longer than your CX program – but it’s unlikely they was designed to help you drive customer experience results.

Here’s how to start working with your HR teams to bring the two together to really drive a transformation in the experience:

  1. Use your CX program as the starting point for what you want to measure in employee experience. Rather than a template annual engagement survey, take the opportunity to agree with HR stakeholders the kind of feedback and metrics you’d need to be able to monitor how well teams feel they’re enabled to deliver on the customer experience. There may be specific questions related to your program that you want to include in order to assess how it’s impacting your employees and whether they’re confident enough to deliver on it.
  2. Gather feedback more frequently – you probably ask your customers for feedback much more frequently than once a year, so it’s a good idea to go to employees more often than annually. We know that employees are keen to give feedback too – in fact more than half the full time employees we surveyed in our latest Employee Pulse study said they wanted to give feedback more frequently than every 6 months. A more regular cadence will allow you to check in on how well the CX programme is embedded so you can make changes and see improvements without having to wait 12 months for the next annual engagement study to roll around.
  3. Think about the employee journey – just as a world class customer experience program moves away from transactions towards a journey-level approach to break down silos, your employee experience program should too. Think about the journey from recruitment all the way through to exit and the different events that provide an opportunity to gather employee feedback. This will allow you to take the same approach to identifying moments that matter and how each one affects the next when it comes to driving engagement and productivity and promoting behaviours that will drive your CX program forward. This approach will help you to nail down the activities and initiatives to focus on with employees to drive the customer experience.
  4. Create a digital open door – again, take the same approach as you do for customer experience and make it effortless to give feedback. Make use of mobile and SMS surveys to make it easy for your staff to give feedback at the right moments. Plus, through automation within your HR software, your can trigger feedback at specific moments in the employee lifecycle too, so when someone reaches a critical point, you’re there to gather that feedback. You could run feedback surveys for example after training courses on your cx program or immersion sessions for frontline staff to identify how well they’re working and whether or not they had the desired effect in helping you to align the employee and customer cultures.

The Rise of the Chief Experience Officer

Increasingly, organisations are now starting to connect their employee experience data and their customer data to drive improvements for employees that have a positive impact on the latter through KPIs like customer loyalty, revenue and profitability.

According to Bain and Company, Companies with highly engaged workers grew revenues 2.5 times as much as those with low engagement levels.

In fact, more and more companies are now bringing these together alongside other experience management disciplines like brand and product experience, with a Chief Experience Officer taking ownership at C-level of all aspects of the experience.

This allows you to start to join the dots and connect your data across the organisation, as well as have a single owner for the transformation that will have every employee working in the same direction to deliver your desired outcomes for customers.

Bring your customer and employee experience programs together