Exploring the links between employee experience and customer experience
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
As a sponsor of the Customer Engagement Summit on the 11th & 12th November 2019, we had the opportunity to facilitate a focus group with a mix of senior CX, Brand, HR and Comms people. Our aim was to share some of our research and experience on the subject to help the group explore ideas and trade experiences on 3 big questions.
We had a packed room with lots of great conversation with individuals from roles in marketing, people, and transformation. And a diverse range of sectors, ranging from manufacturing and healthcare to cinema and retail.
As a snapshot, we’ve summarised some of our key takeaways captured from the rich conversations we had during our session on Monday 11th at the Westminster Park Plaza.
Question 1 - Why invest in aligning the CX & EX - what is the opportunity and some of the key barriers?
“Our first customer is always our employees”
A contributor that worked in manufacturing as part of the contact center explained that they had found success in an initiative that aligned the customer and employee experience by bringing the front-line and the exec closer together. They found that this was an effective way of ensuring the boardroom was connected to the customer, whilst also improving communication and opening up a two-way conversation with leaders and teams.
“If our employees are happy, they create happy customers”
An attendee explained that they had begun to embed a culture of customer service. This focussed on driving ownership of business decisions from managers and leaders to teams. Empowering employees and enabled them to make more of their own decisions and take ownership of their relationship with the customer.
“True alignment is working with teams to connect them with the customer.”
A participant from the banking sector explained that they had effectively removed the barrier between the employee and customer by restructuring teams around their financial products. By doing this they were able to breakdown silos and enable different teams, that historically felt disconnected, to collaborate on new solutions for the customers by looking holistically at what the customer needed and wanted from their experience.
Question 2 - How do you achieve greater brand and customer alignment across large, fluid and disparate workforces?
A suggestion was to make data and statistics feel human and to make it readily available to teams. Work with people individually, see things from their perspective and help them to see it from yours.
A contributor explained that working with data and insight in their day to day role, meant they could sometimes forget not everybody did the same. Therefore, in order to connect with these people who weren’t used to interacting with this type of information, they needed to bring the customer data to life, to make it relatable, human and down to earth
“Don’t just share numbers!”
An attendee from a popular Highstreet brand, known for putting their customer first, spoke about how they internally brought different teams working in different locations together to benefit the customer experience.
“Everyone who works for us thinks they know the customer”
Through the use of video, they now actually do. By simply asking customers questions on a personal level about how they think and feel when they interact with the brand it enabled us to tailor the experience for customers and bring employees together by using the customer as the muse.
“You shop brands you love, with the people you love”
Question 3 - What are some of the steps for success?
Onboarding is the one of the most effective ways of cultivating success. Forward planning well for every new employee is the best way to make people feel comfortable before they start. Planning way also enables you to connect them widely with different parts of the business.
Don’t forget about existing employees either, sometimes it easy to forget, yet this audience can often make the most difference. Always bring new and existing employees on the journey together. And think about how to introduce initiatives in new and engaging ways.
“Communication is the key”
A participant that works in a healthcare background gave three success insight that they value within their organisation:
- Look after your people, increase training budgets to make staff feel supported and well equipped to do their role
- Not everyone works nine to five, provide onboarding and training at different times (think weekends & evenings)
- Have a clear and compelling vision. For example, within their organisation, the word ‘institution’ was deliberately chosen to be provocative (which it most certainly is within healthcare) but the choice of words can be powerful and in this case was chosen to begin to build a legacy.