To engaged employees, customer experience and success is personal. Excellent customer service and a high level of employee engagement go hand-in-hand. When your products, services, and customer service are poor, it’s your employees who are on the receiving end of the criticism. When your employees feel like they are unable to make a difference at their work, they are far less likely to take great care when it comes to customer service and experience.
Customers today have a louder voice than ever before. Just have a look at Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and various other websites and social media networks and you will see that your customers are not afraid to express themselves. That voice comes with higher expectations, and you need to be willing to listen to your customers. The conversation is happening whether you like it or not, and it is just a question of whether you want to take part; however, it’s not just about giving your customers a place at the table, you need to make sure that your employees can express themselves as well.
A Temkin Group survey of over 5,000 U.S. consumers found that customer experience improved significantly when dealing with companies where over 60% of the workforce was engaged. 60% might sound like a low benchmark, but Gallup has found that an incredibly low percentage of employees are engaged.
55% of companies surveyed by the Temkin Group said that one of their main goals is to be an industry leader in customer experience within the next three year. The question is, are they considering the link between customer experience and employee engagement.
Why is employee engagement important to customer experience? Your employees will usually be your customer’s first point of contact. Your customer experience will be affected by how much interest your employees take in your customers’ needs, how much effort they put in to find a solution, and how much pride they take in making sure the customer is happy with the goods and services that they use.
The question is then, how do you best improve your employee engagement? The most efficient way is to give your employees input. Provide them with the ability to express themselves and you will find that engagement will improve rapidly. When employees can share ideas and discuss how goods and services can be improved, not only will you benefit from their knowledge and experience in working with your customers, but you will also see them take more care in what they do.
If your employees are suffering on the front lines, let them tell you what is going wrong. By doing so, you will find out how best to improve your customer experience and you will increase employee engagement at the same time.