Customer experience and employee engagement: An interconnected working relationship
| May 08, 2023
A company is only as strong as the people it employs. More and more, workers are looking for employment with companies that they deem authentic and with whom they share the same values. These companies respect their employees, have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, offer hybrid/remote working arrangements and make use of the latest technologies to stay connected. It’s no wonder that the employee experience is linked to the customer experience.
Organizations continually face obstacles such as employee turnover, recruitment and training costs, all while continuing to support current employees, and attempting to grow their business. If an organization’s end goals are misaligned from the start, clients will be able to pinpoint these discrepancies. However, employees that are well-trained, knowledgeable about the topics and policies at hand, and are continually invested in by their companies serve as an important part of the customer experience journey.
It's not a one-sided situation. Clients are also wising up to with whom they are doing business. They too want to work with companies that match their values, will help them grow, and provide them with an excellent customer experience.
Current and future considerations
Customers can be fickle. Think of the last negative experience you had and ask if that has changed your consumer behavior in any way. Poor experiences drive customers away, and not everyone will remain to offer another chance.
Big brands are already taking action. This was a hot topic at the recent X4 Summit in Salt Lake City, and Reworked tells how Coca-Cola and KFC have started their transformations. Facing disruptions during the pandemic, Coca-Cola found this to be the perfect time for a reset, while KFC recognized the need to change its operations for guests in light of the pandemic and beyond – with click-and-collect and delivery options proliferating quickly.
Therefore, if you’re reading this and starting to wonder about that partner who didn’t renew their contract, it might be time to evaluate what went wrong, and how your company can re-route moving forward.
Where might any gaps exist? How well-equipped are employees to work with and respond to clients? Do workers have a sense of agency? Having some self-awareness about company processes will go a long way. It can be counterproductive to assume that things are fine because no one has complained, without asking those employees themselves.
Perhaps certain processes are outdated, or could use a revamp. What struggles do employees continually face with customers, and is there a way to straighten them out? Get their feedback, map their journey, and show that improving their daily processes is paramount.
At the same time, it’s important to see where customers stand, if they are satisfied with the business partnership, or ready to leave when the contract ends.
Customer feedback surveys are just one way to touch base with clients, but establishing an ongoing dialogue with them will show that your company truly values them as a business partner. Whether it’s monthly check-ins, updates about your product lines, or other new offerings, additional reach-outs will open the lines of communication, and further the likelihood of meeting their business goals.
Strong communication between management and employees will not only show that their experiences are valued, but that they have input in shaping company procedures moving forward. Gaps and inconsistencies cannot be ignored, as business is truly on the line! One does not want the attitudes of their staff negatively impacted because they don’t feel heard or supported. This will end up impacting customers too, if they already haven’t started to see any cracks themselves.
Once the steps toward improvement have begun, keep evaluating the experiences at hand. This is not a “set it and forget it” task, as both the employee and customer journey continue to evolve. Just look at how different the working experience looked in 2019, and then in 2020.
Integrating the employee and customer experience will allow management teams to identify where current processes stand, how they should evolve and which obstacles should be eliminated. Clients will benefit from working with a company whose teams are on the same page and are fully aware of all aspects of the working relationship. In turn, employees will feel appreciated, and be less likely to leave for another opportunity.
A better understanding of where both employees and customers stand will help put a plan into action. What can be fixed now, next week, this quarter, or within the year?
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