Voice of the customer begins with voice of the employee
Keith Schorah is the founder and CEO of Maru/Syngro, a customer intelligence organisation providing world-leading customer experience reporting, analytics, and performance management software. Keith is a customer experience professional with a passion for helping companies prosper by putting customers at the centre of their business.
Employee engagement is crucial for any organisation striving to become more customer centric. It is also just as crucial for organisations to adopt a strong voice of the customer programme. However, it is rare that the employee and the customers voices are aligned to create and build the perfect crescendo.
This is a common gap, or an oversight by many organisations, of how each can work in harmony to benefit and grow business by providing a much deeper insight. By integrating both customer and employee feedback different and interesting measurements can be uncovered, such as the link between customer satisfaction and employee KPIs and how this link is related to customer longevity; ultimately, this enables the organisation to make better decisions.
According to a Walker study, with customer experience set to take over brand and product by 2020 as the key differentiator, organisations must communicate their consumers wants and needs to employees. Presenting customer feedback to employees needs to be part of any effective management performance programme.
Engaged employees drive improvement and in turn customers receive a better experience; customer feedback can then be analysed to identify those engaged employees. On the other hand, customer feedback can also uncover disengaged employees and the effect they have on the customer experience.
So, how can organisations achieve this to align and analyse both?
Customer Experience is an organisation-wide priority. It follows, then, that any CX platform should be widely adopted and easy to use across the organisation. Employees must be able to focus on the customer information and analytics that matters to them most. For instance, frontline managers who are more likely to be interested in tactical actions and customer recovery will want to see scores from customer interactions. Whereas, executives interested in strategic decision making will want to see their organisation’s global competitive positioning for customer loyalty.
A great CX programme should make it easy for staff from any department to customise and configure their own visual analytics and reports to monitor, drill down, and analyse the customer information that is most relevant to their role and objectives.
Employees who feel they are in control of their own customer experience outcomes are more likely to feel engaged with overall objectives. For example, a call centre agent may have a bonus structure in place based on customer feedback automated after a call. While their team leader may have access to an overall view of feedback, each individual agent would be more committed to delivering a positive customer experience if they could see their own results in real-time. Highly engaged, enabled and informed customer-centric employees are integral to the success of any CX programme.
A report by the Temkin Group agrees for long term success, organisations should create a structure for enabling and coordinating a distributed set of customer experience capabilities aligned with company-wide goals and standards. I am a strong advocate for organisation-wide engagement with CX capabilities and platforms that democratise the customer experience.
Indeed, by devolving the operational aspects of a co-ordinated CX programme, and by enabling employees across a number of departments and functions with the necessary capabilities, a CX programme can be taken from good to great.
As well as employees engaging with the customer experience programme, productivity can also be increased when organisations audit the programme by setting targets and KPIs to monitor employee’s performance. When these pre-defined conditions are met, employees can be rewarded and receive recognition. Target setting can also help to highlight areas in need of extra training and upskilling to help staff improve.
This increase in employee engagement for a business has been proven to result in reduced staff turnover, less recruitment costs, greater staff productivity and above all, satisfied customers.
Boosting staff morale and increasing productivity results in financial benefits. Alex Edmans, a professor of finance at London Business School, conducted a study that showed companies with higher satisfaction see their stock returns outperform competitors by 2.3% to 3.8% per year.
Put simply, in order to deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to know your customers better than ever before, and this begins with your frontline – your employees.
If you would like to learn how to create powerful data visualisations that helps highlight both customer and employee voices to drive profitable action, visit the Maru/Syngro website for a library of free downloadable resources.