Without Employee Experience, Customer Experience is doomed.
As Richard Branson famously said, “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers...”
Today, most companies understand the need to focus on Customer Experience (CX). But in their efforts to offer the best CX, many fail to take into account the importance of Employee Experience (EX).
Many organisations invest in defining their CX vision, designing the customer centred experience and then fail to tell their people or training them in the new behaviours required.
To bring your CX Vision & Strategy to life you need to educate your people in your CX values & visions - those things that truly differentiate your offer. Your people need to know what to do differently, want to behave in that way and have the skills to do so.
Far from seeing EX as something separate to CX, organisations should always view the two as complementary. Drawing on the same practices which have a proven positive impact on CX, organisations can boost their overall EX. This, in turn, will positively affect customers, increasing engagement and loyalty.
Every role in an organisation, no matter how many times removed from dealing with customers, has an impact on CX. Whether they’re customer-facing representatives, office managers, designers, or developers - a better employee experience will result in more engaged workers. And, when people are engaged with their job, they put more care and effort into everything they do.
Creating a culture of engaged, invested, and happy employees is part of what keeps a company vibrant, growing, and successful. Companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%. (Gallup 2019)
Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than companies with a record of poor customer experience. (Gallup 2019)
Developing a Blueprint for EX
It all starts with helping employees understand CX. When employees don’t feel adequately informed and empowered to respond to customer needs, they are not confident. Without confidence, your employees withdraw and the customer experience suffers.
When employees clearly understand what the customer needs and how to help, they’re more willing (if not eager) to step up to the challenge and go beyond what’s expected. That’s why it’s so important to embed your customer experience philosophy across your organisation.
The task at hand:
Bringing the customer vision to life - Your CX vision must be communicated, shared, and reinforced. Every employee must (a) know the vision so that they know the experience they are to deliver and (b) understand why it's important to the company, to the employee, and to the customer. And they must understand how they can use it as a guide in their day-to-day actions.
Bring the employee, partner & customers stories to life - Communication is key. Your vision becomes the employees' common purpose when they’re able to associate it with real-life examples and personal feelings.
Vision sell in to the team - Paint a picture of the journey ahead. Demonstrate to employees and partners why they should embark on the journey and where they’re going.
Champion programme - Find champions to “walk the talk” and be passionate about the vision. Give them a voice at your all hand meetings, to update the business on the issues, topics and progress.
Promotion of your value proposition - Tell and demonstrate to your customers, employees and partners the value proposition differentiating your company from competitors.
Feedback framework - Create internal feedback communities to synthesise employee insight about the customer experience and funnel it back to management.
But 1st, get to know your employee as if they were a customer. Once you know your employee personas then you can on-board them onto your CX Strategy.
Creating a culture to support CX & EX
There are five critical areas for engaging people.
Meaning – Is a person’s job inspiring to them?
Autonomy – Can people shape their work and environment in ways that allow them to perform their best?
Growth – How is a person learning, being stretched and challenged?
Impact – Are people leaving work each day feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment?
Connection – Do people feel like they are an integral part of the organisation?
Employees look to their physical experiences to be authentic to the organisation. By aligning the foundation of EX with physical experiences, organisations can craft holistic solutions that support the desired customer experience and overall brand strategy.
Give people purpose not rules
Common purpose – a succinct explanation of the customer experience you are trying to create at an emotional level – motivates employees and gives their work meaning.
They choose to go that extra mile through personal passion, not passive compliance…
When people are trusted to do their job and given clear expectations rather than an instruction manual, they feel more valued and empowered – qualities that can’t help but show in the customer experience they provide.
Listen to your people
If you want your employees to take good care of your customers, start by taking good care of your employees. Treating them respectfully and fairly goes without saying.
But go a step further, and get personally involved in tackling their issues and needs.
Ensure you have formal mechanisms for employees to express their concerns, either at regular open meetings, through anonymous channels such as internal surveys, or via an ombudsman. Then take action.
Communicate what you are doing and how long it will take, and involve the employees themselves in the solution.
Tap into the creativity of your front line staff
Giving front-line employees responsibility and autonomy creates a sense of ownership that inspires them to do everything they can to improve the customer experience.
When they see a problem, they fix it without waiting to be asked. The best companies recognise that front-line staff are also a rich source of customer insights.
They can help leaders understand what customers want – and how to provide it – without the time and expense of market research. To get the most value from these insights, organisations need to build good “plumbing”: robust channels to get information up the hierarchy to leaders who can act on.
Designing your experience is one thing; implementing it is another. Achieving the engagement of every employee and every department entails significant investment in education and training, effective teamwork, performance management, communications and technology.
To find out more check out our Employee Experience Half Day Workshop
The objective of the workshop is to ensure you have the internal capabilities, framework & processes to sustain the transformation effort over time.