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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT – ‘MIND THE GAP’

Bridging the gap between management vision and employee engagement in the delivery of customer experience has become a major challenge for businesses around the world.

South Africa, 3 June 2019; Successful companies around the world are focusing on driving a better customer experience to drive sales, improve customer satisfaction and increase customer retention. In line with this trend, Management teams have spent hundreds of hours creating a customer experience strategy; only to find that employee adoption and execution of the strategy at the customer level is seriously lacking. 

The disconnect between management vision and employee delivery is causing frustration at all levels of business. However, it is important to note that it is not necessarily that employees don’t want to deliver an improved customer experience, they often just lack an understanding of the concept of customer experience, with many employees believing it as just another marketing or promotional campaign that will change next week. 

What has become evident, is that without clear communication to employees of the reasons why they need to deliver an improved experience, what is expected of them to achieve it and how they will be measured when they deliver on it, employee engagement is unlikely to happen.

It is no secret that employee engagement is the critical success factor in the delivery of a CX strategy and leadership around the world are looking for innovative ways to get employees on board to fulfill brand promises and deliver an improved customer journey.

To date, the reality of how to get employees engaged has remained largely illusive to many, but Tempkin Group, leaders in Customer Experience training, have some solid advice in this area. According to Tempkin Group, the 5 keys to increasing employee engagement in a CX strategy are:  

Informwhy employees should get involved in driving a better customer experience. It may be logical to you, but it may not appear to be logical to employees. Clearly explain the benefits of improving the customer journey for employees and the business.

Instruct: explain precisely how you expect employees to deliver an improved experience. Provide employees with specific examples of how and where they can make a difference.

Inspire: employees to deliver an improved experience.  Develop an exciting campaign that supports the delivery of an improved experience, as well as rewarding those who are delivering on it. Consider sharing success stories of how employee engagement has increased sales, reduced churn and improved customer retention, all of which ultimately benefit the business and all of those in it.

Involve: employees in the design, delivery and measurement of an improved customer experience. On the basis that employees know the systems and processes in your business better than anyone else, ask them where they believe improvements can be made.  Run ‘Customer Journey Mapping’ workshops with employees to gain invaluable information about important touch points and pain points in the current customer journey and ask them for their recommendations on how they can be improved.

Incentivise: employees to deliver an improved experience.  Re-consider the behaviours that your current KPI’s are driving, i.e. are they focused predominantly on revenue and if so, change them to measure revenue and customer satisfaction. The more employees are measured on customer satisfaction, the harder they will work to improve it.  Increased customer satisfaction naturally translates into increased revenues and profit. Be sure to provide regular feedback to employees, highlighting the difference their contribution has made to the customer experience. Recognition goes a long way in driving performance.

In line with the above, Lynn Baker, a certified Customer Experience Specialist (CXS)  (CX University) and professional speaker, delivers fast paced and fascinating presentations on moving beyond merely delivering customer service to driving customer experience at conferences, corporate events and in-house meetings.

Lynn also runs interactive ‘Customer Journey Mapping’ workshops for all levels of employees in organisations.  These short training sessions give employees the unique opportunity to get out of the head space of being a supplier for a while and into the head space of being a customer. During this time, they often identify pain points in the current customer journey and recommend improvements for the future experience.  These workshops speak directly to the employee engagement philosophy of involving employees in identifying challenges and providing solutions.