How the Future of Customer Experience Depends on Improving Employee Experience
Businesses continue to focus on creating outstanding customer experience to build strong, lasting relationships with customers.
As well, they have discovered that improving employee experience (EX) not only has internal benefits for companies. Like being able to provide enticing employment opportunities, easier or better executive search and selection, as well as guaranteed employee engagement. It also has benefits for customers. Like more effective customer journey mapping and even better customer experience (CX).
To help improve your EX and ensure you can provide superior CX, here is a deeper look into EX, the link between EX and CX, as well as ways you can improve your EX to provide your customers an experience that won’t only delight them but also earn their trust and loyalty:
What is employee experience (EX)?
EX is not the same as employee engagement.
EX is the total of all the touchpoints employees have with their employers, from when they were candidates (whether active or passive) to becoming alumni, according to leading research-based human resources (HR), talent and learning membership programs provider Bersin by Deloitte.
The touchpoints that make up EX are grouped into three “environments”, namely the cultural environment, the physical environment and the technological environment, according to best-selling author, futurist and keynote speaker Jacob Morgan.
The cultural environment refers to the things about a company that set its mood and tone as a workplace. These include its organisational structure, its leadership style and the sense of purpose of the people who work there.
The physical environment refers to the things that make up the office itself. These include the floor plan, the employees themselves and the amenities, if there are any, like a lounge area or an on-site gym.
The technological environment refers to the tools the employees use to do their jobs. Apart from computers, those include the company’s internal social network and the software that impact how the employees work.
Having a motivating cultural environment, an energising physical environment and a well-designed, up-to-date technological environment leads to positive EX, guaranteeing employee engagement.
An example of a business that has successfully created notable EX in Australia is Salesforce. It was recognised by management consulting firm Great Place to Work Australia as the best place to work in the country for 2018 and 2016. It offers its 1,000+ employees several perks that make it an amazing place to work, including parental leave, adoption and fertility support, as well as baby bonus policies.
A customer experience definition in this context is amplified by the employee experience, more engaged employees are given the tools and subliminally encouraged to deliver better customer experiences.
How EX and CX Are Linked
Simply put, when employees are happy, customers are happy. That’s because employees who’re engaged and like the company they work for consistently deliver first-rate service or help to create quality products. Customers who receive such service and products are satisfied customers who will certainly become loyal customers. When a business has such customers, it can count on becoming successful.
Take Marriott International. 92 years old with over 5,700 hotels across the globe, including 24 in Australia, it’s one of the most successful companies in the hotel industry. It rewards its employees for doing their jobs well, offers them various training programs, values their loyalty and celebrates diversity and inclusion. No wonder it has been recognised many times not only as one of the best places to work but also as a leader when it comes to CX.
This shows that HR is also now needing to acknowledge recruitment and selection as also a part of branding activities. It’s a given, if candidates have heard about your organisation (which is great) this also means they’ve already formed a brand image of your company. In the same way that branding influences customers through all levels of the funnel — from awareness to trial to long-term loyalty — perceptions of an organisation’s brand influence how people interact with you. This means their impressions can impact whether they apply for a job, accept a position and, ultimately, stay with the company.
Tips to Improve EX to Deliver Great CX
Does that mean your business has to be as successful or well-known as Marriott International to make your EX better and create excellent CX?
Not at all. There are many simple but surprisingly effective ways to do it. Here are no less than five you can get started on right away:
Survey Your Employees
Nothing boosts employee engagement as well as seeing feedback put into action.
Examples of important topics you can ask them about are workload, how easy it is to get things done, managerial support and what the focus needs to be when it comes to customers. Find out from them what your company as a whole needs to keep, start and stop doing to improve. After analysing the information, tell your employees what you understood and what you’ll do based on that and make sure it’s carried out.
Start Your Very Own Employee Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program
If you’re not doing it yet, consider letting your employees nominate one another for delivering great customer service or being a phenomenal team player. It’s an effective way to promote camaraderie and trust among them. Encourage them by giving out small but immediate rewards, like gift cards.
Turn Your Senior Executives into Company Ambassadors
After showing them the positive effect good EX has on CX, get upper management to promote your company, including employee highlights. It’s a sure-fire way to engage your employees and customers. It conveys passion and authenticity. They can do it as announcements, town halls, newsletters or even online videos.
Sponsor Employee Events
Whether it’s a fun run, a tournament or a picnic, an event that lets your employees and senior executives bond will surely improve camaraderie and trust among them even more
Define and Communicate Your Mission, Vision and Values
Without clearly defining and communicating your mission, vision and values, it would be practically impossible to figure out what your company’s guiding principles need to be for success and build the right company culture. That will make it much more difficult to engage your employees and create positive EX. Failing at these will prevent you from providing unparalleled CX.
“Leaders and HR needs to experiment with technology in the market such as pulse feedback tools, employee wellness apps, modern communication and productivity tools that will help facilitate the understanding and development of the employee experience.”