There are countless articles and statistics on the importance of the customer experience (CX). There are nearly just as many regarding the employee experience (EX). While both these experiences should remain critical focuses for businesses, materials on how to integrate them together are hard to come by.
Shouldn’t there be more documentation on how to weave these two approaches together for a seamless fit? After all, in order to achieve a strong brand experience, one depends on the other. Satisfied employees are willing to go the extra mile to create happier customers. When the elements come together, the brand as a whole benefits.
Take an employee-first approach
A strong CX initiative needs to start with the people inside your company. Employees must be motivated to provide excellent service. All businesses want to ensure that their customers receive great communication and outstanding delivery. In order to achieve this, employees should be taken care of first and foremost.
Motivation isn’t just about raises, bonuses, rewards, perks and material things. It comes from showing deep appreciation for those who choose to spend 40+ hours a week inside your company. This can be accomplished by recognizing those who go above and beyond (both privately and publicly), supporting opportunities for professional development, empowering employees to do their jobs, offering a work-life balance and openly caring about the employee as a whole person.
If you want to reduce employee churn, it starts here. If you want to reach next-level CX, this is the minimum requirement.
Inspire employees with a mission
Most of humanity searches for some kind of purpose. When a company defines a high-level customer purpose, it can spark a fire inside the company’s walls. A job on its own can only encourage so much excitement, engagement or satisfaction. This same goes for a product, a service or even a paycheck. Organizations with the most engaged employees (and loyal customers) offer something deeper.
When a mission is only meaningful to the company, customers and shareholders, it isn’t substantial enough to work long term. It must speak to the employees, too. Taking part in something bigger and believing that your work does something for the greater good gives meaning to jobs.
At Tethr, we envision a world where every company listens and every customer is heard. Every one of us is a customer who’s personally been frustrated with a product, a service or a brand. We are driven to make these experiences more effortless by helping our customers turn their companies into listening enterprises.
Track employee engagement
Companies often survey their workers with employee engagement assessments in order to evaluate EX and get a feel for employee engagement. As a baseline measurement, there is nothing wrong with this. However, using this as the predominant performance indicator isn’t entirely accurate.
Engagement is a complex emotion. In order to be truly engaged, an employee should be able to bring their true self to their work roles. An emotional commitment to the organization is necessary for true engagement. Engaged employees typically have fulfilling relationships with peers and their managers, experience measurable personal growth and have confidence in their future.
Accurately measuring employee engagement as a whole means conducting one-on-ones, practicing continuous behavioral analysis and offering things like anonymous feedback channels. Leading with an employee-first approach and inspiring employees with a mission positively impacts engagement, and therefore, CX.
A single continuum
When there is a disconnect between how a company treats employees and how employees are expected to treat customers, businesses crumble. Motivated employees apply more discretionary effort. This benefits other employees as well as the customer journey. When EX and CX come together, expect reduced turnover in the workforce, increased employee productivity and improvements in CX metrics and business revenue.
If your brand prides itself on offering customers a personal and dedicated approach, the employee experience at that company must also deliver on those values. When employees experience the benefits of these qualities, they are much more likely to deliver top-notch customer service. Cultivating a meaningful and honest brand experience helps attract and retain employees who will thrive in the company’s environment and propel the customer experience to its fullest extent.