As businesses invest in more of their customer-first capabilities, marketers know that an excellent customer experience (CX) can make or break their success and are investing heavily in getting CX right. For good reason: superior CX delivers improved customer loyalty, market share and revenues. According to a recent Accenture report, companies that get CX right have 17 percent increased loyalty and 11 percent increased profitability.
With an explosion in marketing technology and investment, organisations have been a bit slower to the employee experience (EX) party, but those leading the way understand its importance. Like CX, EX is increasingly a priority for organisations undergoing transformation and, done well, can deliver significant improvement to the bottom line; Accenture claims companies that get EX right are 21 percent more profitable.
There are striking similarities between CX and EX. There are also great opportunities for organisations to leverage one off the other to achieve a seamless brand experience and turn employees and customers into company advocates. Here are three keys ways you can marry your CX with your EX.
Matching customer and employee mindsets
Many organisations understand the importance of matching specific customer service representatives (CSR) with inbound customer enquiries. A common approach to this is based on geography. So depending on where the customer lives, their call may be routed to a specific call centre or team. This approach, however, makes sweeping generalisations about customers (and employees) based on something as arbitrary as location.
To really get more value out of customer routing, organisations should seek to understand the mindset of both their customers and employees, and then align the two. Organisations can better analyse their people data to really understand their customers’ and employees’ mindsets and thinking patterns. Using neuroscience principles allows us to understand how and why individuals are making decisions and use this to influence their next decision.
For example, once you have clarity of both your customers’ and your employees’ mindset, you can align an inbound customer enquiry to a like-minded customer service representative (CSR) taking the call. If you have a customer who thinks in a very process-driven way, their enquiry should be handled by a CSR who will focus on their immediate need and will follow through on a process to get things done, giving the customer comfort that the CSR is methodical with process to resolve their enquiry.
Apply the customer-first model across your entire organisation
But what about those employees who aren’t on the front line and may never interact directly with customers? How do they contribute to the customer experience? Being able to bring the right mindset to solve customer problems is at the heart of customer-first organisations evolving from digital transformation. Employees need to understand customers’ mindsets in order to act as the voice of the customer when developing new products and strategies. All employees need to be put in the shoes of the customer to ensure the mindset they are bringing to a project aligns with the customer mindset.
For example, fast food brand Guzman y Gomez requires anyone working in its customer service team to have worked on the restaurant floor, so they truly understand what the customer expects, are invested in the role, and can deliver a heightened level of passion and authenticity to customers.
Create a consistent, inside-out culture
If you focus exclusively on CX and selling your brand attributes externally, but don’t live and breathe that internally, your employees can feel disconnected. Employees talk as much as your customers and it is inevitable that a poor employee experience will flow on to your customers.
In today’s world, we expect businesses to have heart and soul if they want to stand out. A company’s culture must resonate with customers on a deep level, and employee experience is central to how a culture is perceived. For example, customers can tell the difference between an unhappy customer service representative, who sounds unsympathetic and gives poor service, versus someone who truly enjoys their job and is driven by successfully helping their customer.
Employees and customers are intrinsically linked. Both are at the heart of business decision-making and organisations need to align their attitudes, perceptions and mindsets in order to thrive.