For growing businesses to succeed and reach their goals consistently, providing an exceptional customer experience (CX) has to be one of their main priorities. Customers who associate positive experiences with business are more likely to be loyal and will keep coming back to make further transactions. In recent years, businesses have understood how an improved CX is a key differentiator in their scheme of things. That said, employee engagement is one of the most important aspects that drive customer experience.
Business leaders who want to achieve their organization’s mission agree that treating their employees well is a necessary first step toward providing a better CX. As a matter of fact, engaged employees spread their enthusiasm to customers and are more dedicated to providing the best possible service. Here is a list of valuable employee engagement statistics that reveal how powerful the motivation of engaged employees is when trying to further engage customers.
Just as how engaged employees make for happy customers, the reverse is also true. Customers who are thoroughly satisfied, also drive employee engagement. A positive CX reinforces how employees feel about the value and purpose of their work. In other words, a positive customer experience motivates employees to repeat their behavior.
If you are looking forward to beefing up your employee engagement strategies, this is the right time to do so. Following are some of the best employee engagement practices that can prove to be a secret weapon to create a better customer experience.
#1 Create a Collaborative, Communicative, and Engaging Culture
Collaborative, communicative, and engaging culture is also known as employee-centric culture. It re-invigorates organizations by holistically engaging employees, improving retention, and increasing innovation. According to a study, 97% of employees accept that the lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. So this lack of enthusiasm would invariably reflect on how the employees take up on their customer experience responsibilities. A collaborative and engaging culture ensures that employees are taught how to effectively respond to customers and how to represent the brand.
Fostering collaboration helps you make the most of your knowledge resources. By bringing all the minds together, you are allowing your team members to share a wealth of information and view challenges from different perspectives. This helps in devising solutions in various business operations, for example – how to make customers happier. You have to spend sufficient time, money, and resources to ensure that your employees have tools, environment, and understanding to effectively deliver the brand promise. Therefore, an employee-centric culture paves the way for employees who their key customers are and how they can add value to their experiences.
#2 Incorporate Employee Development Programs
There is no denying the fact that employees are one of the most valuable assets of your organization. So you need to ensure that they feel valued and confident about their long-term potential. It’s only when you give them more opportunities, autonomy, responsibility, as well as respect that they put their dedicated efforts in order to achieve your business goals. Employee development programs, therefore, are an initiative that elevates the existing skills, knowledge, and abilities as an individual. Employee development builds loyalty, which is very important in driving customer satisfaction. In business parlance, it goes without saying, a happy employee begets a happy customer.
Your employees experience a sense of pride when they see that the organization is investing time and resources in them. This means, in the future, you can extract the best out of them. Offering employees additional skill-training classes and mentorship opportunities makes them feel supported and respected. Providing hard and soft-skill training also makes them customer-oriented. Additionally, it helps you on two counts – your employees learn how different departments of the organization work together and how to promote the organizational values among your customers. Thus, providing employee development programs increases your reputation with both – the customers as well as prospective employees.
#3 Give your Employees a Sense of Purpose
A sense of purpose is integral to any successful work environment that eventually goes on to deliver better customer experience. If your employees are subjected to a purpose-driven mindset, they are more likely to be engaged, resulting in higher productivity and customer satisfaction. Giving a sense of purpose allows your employees to understand what they are working towards and how to make a difference. According to a Harvard Business Review, only a small percentage of employees understand their company’s strategy and direction. It highlights that even in better-performing companies that have clearly stated strategies, only 29% of their employees identify their companies’ strategies.
You can provide a sense of purpose in the following ways:
– Build a clear, agreed-upon strategy where all employees can contribute to its vision.
– Make them a part of the decision-making process.
– Devise organizational goals and measurements.
– Make sure your employees have proper resources that enable them to perform their best.
– Provide meaningful incentives, rewards, and recognition.
#4 Get the HR Team to Connect Employee Engagement to Customer Experience
Great customer experiences help companies survive and thrive, but who delivers these experiences? It has to be primarily employees. So you need to connect employee engagement to customer experience. The former is the vital metric for the success of organizational efforts and maximized customer experience. In view of this, the human resource professionals could hold the key to improving the CX and generating better business results. They should be involved in creating effective employee engagement initiatives. Therefore, you need to acknowledge your employees to be models of your values, thereby creating social validation.
Engaged employees are a reflection of your business values, who they are, what they believe in, and how they put across their message. According to a paper published by The Forum, customer perceptions of any brand, and the employee behaviors that influence them, have a direct and positive impact on CX. The paper further revealed that a 10% increase in efforts made by employees translated into a 22.7% increase in customer spending.
#5 Identify the Core Competencies that Lead to Happy Customers
If your employees possess the skills and characteristics that make them suited for the role of good customer support agent, your business is more likely to make your customers happy. This is because possessing right customer service skills are important traits that handle people’s problems effectively. And due to this reason, customer service has become one of the most frequently espoused values, today. Excellent customer service also encourages referral business and provides a sustainable foundation. Following are the core competencies that lead happy customers:
Loyalty: Employee happiness and satisfaction inevitably lead to loyalty. While hiring candidates, if they speak highly of the previous company or employer then they are more inclined to be loyal. A loyal customer care representative will put the company’s interest during interactions with angry customers – a quality reflecting patience.
Good employee traits: The perfect customer service employees have positive attitudes, patience with customers, and display politeness to all.
Problem-solving: It is a great customer service skill that includes taking a pre-emptive approach in managing or addressing possible risks.
Persuasiveness: Being persuasive isn’t being manipulative. Your customers should be able to steer customers into a direction that is a win-win to all.
Accountability: What separates top customer service professionals from the rest is they remain accountable in all situations and maintain ownership of their responsibilities.
Employee engagement is an important aspect of a business in a variety of ways. Customer experience is one such aspect that is the key to its success. It is pertinent for managers or employers to analyze their employee performance in line with CX. Thus businesses need to identify and reward the employees who have the greatest positive impact on customer experience and satisfaction so as to encourage it amongst their entire workforce.