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Employee engagement and customer experience (CX) are critical for business success in today’s market. As customer loyalty shifts away from price and product to service quality and brand experience, businesses must evolve.

Understanding and improving CX is more crucial than ever, as customers favor brands that meet their growing expectations without sacrificing service quality.

Quite interestingly, research has found that businesses earning $1 billion every year can expect to earn an additional $700 million, on average, within three years of investing in CX.

No wonder improving the end-to-end buying journey for customers is imperative to deliver a positive experience and drive higher revenues — regardless of how many times they have availed your products or services. Let us explain this in detail.

Enhancing CX helps improve retention and earn their loyalty by engaging them throughout their journey with your brand. The cost of acquiring a new customer is reportedly higher than retaining existing ones. Therefore it directly impacts your bottom line.

employee engagement and customer experience

Strategies for Improving Employee Engagement

Understanding the benefits of enhancing Customer Experience (CX) is crucial for businesses. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Improves customer retention and loyalty
  • Directly impacts the bottom line by reducing customer acquisition costs
  • Leads to increased revenue through repeat business
  • Enhances brand reputation and customer satisfaction

employee engagement and customer experience

image: mckinsey.com

Walking the mile in the customers’ shoes

CX leaders must emphasize developing a customer-centric approach across your company. When building a customer-first business, you must embrace digital transformation and empower your employees with omnichannel tools to help achieve success.

Engaging employees accelerate the growth of your brand. But most of the time, brands are unable to do enough to keep them interested.

A Gallup report states that the average employee engagement worldwide is merely 22%, a significant cause of the surge in employee turnover. Therefore, you must make strategic changes in your operations to improve business outcomes.

You cannot plan to deliver excellent customer service if your attrition rate is high. You must take specific steps that make them a loyal part of your business. The following section explains that in detail.

employee engagement and customer experience

The “people-first” growth strategy

Your employees are the first point of humanized contact customers have with your brand. Therefore, you must take care of them to transform the relationship with your customers.

Particularly in the last 18 months, businesses have deployed varied change management models to cope with the changes happening in their sector while also ensuring employees continued to deliver as they retreated into isolation and meet the new customer demands with care, concern, and empathy.

In today’s conscious consumer culture, buying decisions are impacted by how well brands treat their employees. Every business leader must realize the need to treat employees as they want their customers to be treated.

Meeting employee needs on time ensures they offer a delightful experience for your customers in return. Putting employees first is not only the right thing to do; it is simply good business.

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The service-profit chain concept by the Harvard Business Review links employee satisfaction and customer loyalty to product profitability for businesses at both ends of this chain.

employee engagement and customer experience

image: hbr.orgIt demonstrates how employee satisfaction leads to customer loyalty for the profitability of a brand and its financial success. Simple as it may sound, the process needs to align the processes to strategically achieve customer and employee success.

At the end of the day, employee satisfaction results mainly from high-quality support policies and services enabling employees to deliver rightfully to the customers. The alignment must be done by providing clear guidelines and best support to employees.

Strategies for Improving Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is pivotal for customer satisfaction. Here are effective strategies to boost engagement:

  • Offer enriching and streamlined employee experiences
  • Address and fix operational inefficiencies
  • Cultivate a culture of empathy and respect
  • Align employee goals with customer needs for mutual success

employee engagement and customer experience

Six tips to improve employee success to achieve customer success

A strong company will already have great customer relationships. But that cannot be achieved until their employees are also equally satisfied and happy.

If you are not constantly looking for opportunities to improve your relationship with employees, they will think you do not care about them and hence, leave your company. Here is how you can ensure employee success effectively:

  • Offer a simple but richer experience
  • Fix processes wherever possible
  • Treat your employees with respect and empathy
  • Tailor success to customer needs
  • Foster long-term relationships with your staff
  • Promote and encourage having work-life balance

1. Offer a simple but richer experience

Creating a streamlined and enriched experience for employees is key to achieving customer success. Employees, much like customers, expect a consistent and cohesive journey within the company. This includes smooth transitions of roles and information across different departments.

By simplifying internal processes, not only is the workload on employees reduced, but customer interactions also become more efficient, leading to quicker resolution of issues. Efficient handoffs between departments minimize service gaps, accelerating the delivery process and reducing customer frustration.

Studies have shown that simpler processes can make employees 12% more productive and happier. This increase in employee satisfaction and efficiency can significantly enhance your brand’s competitiveness, with some companies outperforming their rivals by 20%.

2. Fix processes wherever possible

Operational inefficiencies can lead to repetitive complaints from customers, which in turn can demoralize and frustrate your staff. This negative impact on employee morale can be detrimental to both their productivity and the company’s long-term success.

To combat this, it is vital to address and rectify common issues within your systems. By doing so, you not only reduce resource wastage and control inefficiency but also instill a sense of pride in your workforce regarding their company and its services.

A focus on excellence in employee experience can significantly influence the overall customer experience. Companies ranking in the top 25% for positive employee experiences have reported a triple return on assets and double return on sales.

employee engagement and customer experience

3. Treat your employees with respect and empathy

Fostering a culture of empathy and respect throughout the organization is crucial. If employees feel unengaged or undervalued, it’s unlikely they will have a positive experience with your organization.

A significant 92% of employees believe empathy is undervalued in companies, yet 95% are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.

Moreover, customers often prefer to engage with brands that align with their personal values and beliefs, with 63% stating a preference for brands driven by such principles.

Creating an empathetic workplace not only improves employee retention but also aligns with customer expectations, thereby enhancing both employee and customer satisfaction.

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employee engagement and customer experience

image: ccl.org

4. Tailor success to customer needs

To ensure sustainable success, it’s vital for a company to align its employees’ efforts with customer goals. This alignment may not always be immediately obvious, but business leaders must work to redefine objectives to prioritize customer satisfaction.

It’s essential to go beyond merely sustaining operations; brands must actively ensure that customers are content with their products or services. By adapting to the customer’s perception of value, companies can simplify processes and clearly define the parameters of success for their employees.

This approach not only enhances the customer experience but also instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in employees, knowing they are directly catering to and fulfilling client needs.

5. Foster long-term relationships with your staff

Retaining employees is a challenge for many businesses. The modern workplace has transformed, and employee expectations are also evolving as customer expectations continue to grow. You need to do more than just pay them for their work.

Keeping them interested and invested in your brand is imperative. Rewards, recognition, appreciation, and empathy help foster healthier relationships.

Designing training strategies to encourage employees to embrace their strengths and weaknesses helps them build their lifetime value.

6. Promote and encourage having work-life balance

A work-life balance can be the difference between a thriving workforce and one that is burnt out. As the boundaries of the workplace and home blur, separating personal life from professional responsibilities provides employees with untethered freedom.

A study by Stanford University supports the need for work-life balance by revealing that productivity declines sharply when people work for more than 50 hours a week.

It reiterates how important it is to take time off as it helps combat stress levels, thereby improving productivity instantly. Moreover, since the pandemic began and working from home became a norm, working hours have definitely increased.

employee engagement and customer experience

image: ibm.comIn today’s era of remote working, you have to ensure your employees get ample opportunity for self-care even though they are at home.

Find small ways to promote healthier habits at your company. Implementing policies such as flexible hours ensures people do not feel their job permeates aspects of their life outside work. Allow them to dedicate time and explore other hobbies besides just career advancement.

Five steps to putting employees in the driver’s seat

A highly engaged workforce will impact the bottom line of your company positively. You can consider the following steps to help your employees improve their productivity and drive higher satisfaction in their roles.

  • Gather employee feedback
  • Minimize technological barriers
  • Focus on their career advancement
  • Reward and recognize their efforts
  • Check-in with your employees periodically

1. Gather employee feedback

Collecting feedback from employees is a crucial step in empowering them. While it might seem counterintuitive, employee insights are often highly relevant and valuable. They possess an intimate understanding of their roles and the challenges they face, making their input critical for organizational improvements.

Encouraging feedback not only identifies areas for process improvement but also helps uncover necessary tools and resources for employees to succeed.

Moreover, this practice cultivates a culture of inclusivity and collaboration, where employees feel valued and integral to the company’s transformation.

2. Minimize technological barriers

Ensuring that your employees have the necessary tools and technology is fundamental to their success and, by extension, the success of your brand. A productive infrastructure encompasses both advanced software solutions and organizational resources to enable effective work completion.

In the context of remote working, this means enhanced technological setups and streamlined security protocols to facilitate seamless collaboration across distributed teams.

Investing in sophisticated yet user-friendly technological infrastructure is crucial. It not only bolsters productivity but also simplifies processes, ensuring employees are well-equipped and confident in their ability to achieve success.

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3. Focus on their career advancement

Creating a nurturing and productive work environment is key to reducing turnover and boosting productivity. By focusing on career advancement, you communicate your company’s commitment to your employees’ growth and success.

Training and development opportunities not only benefit the company by creating a more skilled workforce but also keep morale high among team members. This atmosphere of continuous learning and advancement fosters motivation at all levels and shows employees that their growth is valued.

When employees see clear paths for advancement and feel supported in their career goals, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the company’s success.

4. Reward and recognize their efforts

Rewards and recognition must be utilized effectively to increase employee engagement. Businesses must lay down their expectations clearly to help employees understand how they can fit into them.

For instance, Disney strives to offer a magical customer experience, and employees are rewarded for delivering the most engaging experience. The slightest of recognition helps motivate individuals and teams to perform their best.

Deploy an employee engagement solution such as Xoxoday Empuls, where you can delight high-performing employees with an extensive choice of rewards and make their efforts visible in front of the entire company.

Research shows that 63% of those always or usually recognized at work are “very unlikely” to hunt for a new job in the next three to six months. Therefore, instilling a sense of purpose in your workforce with regular employee recognition.

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image: surveymonkey.com

5. Check-in with your employees periodically

Conducting regular check-ins with employees is essential for understanding their work and addressing any professional or personal challenges they may face. These check-ins, both formal and informal, should be scheduled periodically, with managers encouraged to interact with their team members to better comprehend their needs.

This approach helps in developing action plans that align both organizational objectives and individual goals. The frequency of these meetings can vary based on business needs, but they should always focus on employee development and upskilling.

Additionally, providing frequent feedback allows for continuous performance improvement, eliminating the need to wait for annual reviews. This practice not only keeps managers attuned to employee behaviors but also gives employees continuous motivation to perform well.

Employee Engagement Strategies and Their Impact on Customer Experience

Understanding the link between employee engagement and customer experience is crucial for any business aiming to enhance its service quality and customer satisfaction. The following table provides a clear comparison of various employee engagement strategies and how they positively impact both the workforce and the customer experience.

This overview will help you identify key areas of focus to foster a more productive and satisfying work environment, ultimately leading to happier customers and improved business outcomes.

Strategy Impact on Employees Impact on Customer Experience
Empathetic Leadership Increased morale and job satisfaction Enhanced customer service quality
Professional Development Skill enhancement and career growth Up-to-date service offerings
Open Communication Sense of belonging and validation More responsive and personalized service
Work-Life Balance Reduced burnout, increased productivity Consistent and reliable customer interactions
Recognition and Rewards Heightened motivation and commitment Improved service delivery and innovation

Over to you

The approach of aligning employee success with customer success can lead to unparalleled levels of customer satisfaction. It is essential to identify your customers’ pain points, but you must also commit to understanding the needs of your workforce.

Your employees are putting plenty at stake each day, and you must reward their efforts by supporting them wholeheartedly. Shift their description of success from monetary to a drive for excellence. Remember, building employee loyalty is a challenging task.

It takes commitment from your business to promote their self-care, job fulfillment, upskilling, and ongoing development. Showing consistency in your efforts is critical in maintaining the most valuable asset for your company.

When your employees bring their A-game to the table, it is easy to function like well-oiled machinery and deliver customers the best possible service.

Without the support of your employees, this would not be possible. Therefore, prioritize your employees. Customer success is inevitable.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “A Guide To Employee Engagement and Customer Experience” was first published on Small Business Trends

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