Guest Blog by Chris Allen, CCO at Rant & Rave

 

Fish & chips, Mickey & Minnie, Kim and Kanye, some things just belong together, and this is how we need to start thinking about customer and employee experience. This double act isn’t always easy for CX and EX professionals, but we happen to have some insider knowledge.

 

There’s plenty of research to show that employee happiness depends not on what the company says, but what it does, with a direct impact on both CX and business performance.

 

So, to stop paying lip service and start taking action. We’ve taken inspiration from CX & EX leaders to help you drive brilliant engagement throughout your organisation…

 

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  1. Turn ‘top-down’ on its head

 

Your frontline is where customer experience is built or broken. So, start treating your frontline agents as the “top management” of your organisation: they are the people with the ability to drive sales, retain customer goodwill, and truly effect change.

 

The C-Suite’s role isn’t to dream up policies and procedures, but to listen to what frontline staff need – and to make sure they have the training, resources, and autonomy to do the right thing by the customer.  People who are typically happy and appreciated are significantly more engaged employees

 

Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

 

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” 

 

  1. See beyond the data

 

Rather than simply relying on your data, go out and ask your colleagues how they feel and what changes they think the business should make. The real benefits for your organisation come from taking action on the feedback received, but this means you have to be willing to both listen and act to drive true change in your culture. Give employees autonomy to determine the right experience elements to deliver.

 

“Everything that’s important to our customers is just as important to our colleagues. Our colleagues’ needs are vital as they interact with our brand every day.”

 

Wayne Hall Senior Manager: Reward & Engagement, Dunelm

 

  1. Create continuous engagement

 

From the boardroom to the frontline, every level of a business must be immersed in a strong customer-centric culture in order to create successful engagement. Engaged employees help to reduce churn rates as they help to make customers feel truly valued. Plus, business outputs are increased as a result of company-wide engagement with everyone working towards a shared goal.

Companies with engaged employees have 38% higher customer satisfaction, 22% higher productivity and up to 19% higher profits.

 

Phil Evans Chief Raving Officer, Rant & Rave

 

“All too often CX is stuck in the ivory tower. You need to give power to the people on your frontline, to those people who can really make a difference.” 

 

  1. Connect all the dots

Businesses need to connect the dots between employee and customer feedback. Connecting the two will allow you to take a pulse of your business in real-time, enabling you to surface valuable insight and picture a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening.

 

Not only this, but you’ll truly get under the surface of customer and employee interactions, highlight recurring problems and pinpoint any resource constraints that are affecting your business. Every leading CX company has motivated employees who embody the customer and brand promise in their interactions with consumers.

 

John Patterson, VP of Customer Experience, Sage

 

“I’m a real believer in positivity and in being in charge of yourself. You can choose to have a great day and you can choose to deliver great service.” 

 

  1. Create performance led culture

 

People performance is crucial and is the consistent driver for customer engagement and experience. When you’re speaking to someone who’s on a journey of self-development they’re positive, upbeat and receptive to change. This energy will transfer across to customers in those critical people-to-people interactions.

 

Frontline employees who are truly invested in, and working towards, a shared customer-centric culture will also feel empowered to go that extra mile for customers, build successful and meaningful relationships and, ultimately, succeed in keeping more customers engaged.

83% of US consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels.

 

Professor Moira Clark, Henley Centre for Customer Management

 

“Ultimately, happy employees lead to happy customers – they’re two sides of the same coin.”

 

 

  1. Close the loop on both sides

 

With consumer expectations higher than ever, closing the loop has never been more important. By ensuring that customer and employee issues are always followed up, whether that’s by calling, emailing or any other proactive communication, closing the loop works to reduce churn and improve engagement.

 

Closing the loop also works to increase NPS scores, as in 65% of cases, customers score higher next time when the loop has been closed on previous encounters with a company. This improves the brand experience for them and increases retention rates for you in the meantime.

Inspired employees are more than twice as productive as satisfied employees

 

Brian Solis Digital Analyst, Speaker & Author

 

“It’s time to design experiences you want people to have, remember, and share. Customer experience is the new marketing and customers’ experiences become the ‘BX’ – brand experience.”

 

  1. Let feedback drive your strategy

 

It’s no longer enough to claim that you are engaging your customers and employees simply by reaching out to them. You need to go beyond this. Effective engagement is all about creating a meaningful dialogue between your company, your employees and your customers. This is more than just asking them a question, it’s about using feedback as a starting point to shape and move your strategy forwards. What do customers want? The top four choices are quality (72%), service (64%), offers (63%) and convenience (57%).

 

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

 

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”