Improving Customer Experience through the Employee Experience
By now it’s understood that we’re in the “Age of the Customer;” a time in which successful companies are reinventing themselves to put the customer’s anticipated needs and desires at the center of business strategy. Yet often when we hear “customer,” we still think of an external audience. In fact, understanding both external and internal customers is vital to improving the total customer experience – and that starts with evaluating the employee experience.
We know that it’s the most engaged employees who deliver the best customer service – and being empowered to deliver the best customer service in turn helps to engage employees. Customer experience and employee experience are intrinsically linked in a continuous loop. They are not mutually exclusive; you don’t need to tackle one at the expense of the other. When employees are personally invested in their jobs or the company, they can positively influence the customer’s experience and, ultimately, operational performance.
The first step in improving the employee experience is to understand and measure your organization’s employee engagement. One way this can be accomplished is through a voice of the employee (VOE) program.
Closing the loop is a crucial component of an effective VOE program. To make a VOE program effective, it is important to respond to feedback from the VOE survey to show your employees that you’re listening. If employees don’t see how their feedback is being received, they can quickly experience “feedback fatigue,” which is counterproductive to employee engagement.
The second tool that can help improve the employee experience is journey mapping. Journey mapping is a familiar tool for understanding our touch points with external customers, but it can also be used to map all of the points of engagement between employees and customers. This map allows you to view the end-to-end journey and pinpoint individual interactions between your internal and external customers to focus on and improve — with sizable results.
According to McKinsey & Company, “redesigning customer journeys raises customer-satisfaction scores by 15 to 20 points, reduces costs to serve by 15 to 20 percent, and boosts employee engagement by 20 percent.”
While it can seem daunting to take on another program or initiative, most of us already have half of the battle won: the customer-first mindset. We can take what we already know about customer service and apply those same principles to our internal customers, with a focus on delighting them in the same manner to create a positive employee experience.
Ultimately, improving both internal and external customer satisfaction and focusing on a customer-centric business model accelerates a business’s profitable growth.
This article is sponsored content paid for by Allegion.