Customer experience (CX) has become a major priority for businesses in the past few years, and 2022 will be no exception. The thing is, customers are no longer loyal to a brand based on the business offering or its pricing.
Instead, they prefer returning to companies that can keep up with their increasing demands without compromising quality and service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
1. Offer a simple but richer experience
Much like customers, employees expect a consistent and cohesive experience throughout their journey with the company. They wish for seamless handovers of roles and information across departments. Simplifying your internal processes, for instance, will ease the workload off the shoulders of your workforce.
It also leads to better customer interactions with a quicker resolution of issues. Handoffs between departments or functions reduce service gaps, speeding up the delivery process to avoid customer frustration.
Simpler processes make employees 12% more productive and happier. In turn, they help your brand outperform the competition by 20%.
2. Fix processes wherever possible
Customers are quick to react when things go wrong. They blame customer support agents and their teams before pointing towards the company.
Your employees are conditioned to resolve issues as part of their job profile, but repetitive complaints due to operational inefficiencies can lead to a rather demotivated and frustrated staff. That is not good for their productivity or your company in the long run.
Therefore, make your workforce proud of their company and the services it provides. Address frequent problems in your systems to reduce resource wastage and control inefficiency.
Fulfilling your employee’s desire for excellence makes a significant impact on the overall customer experience. Companies that rank among the top 25% of those delivering positive employee experience have reported 3X return on assets and 2X return on sales.
3. Treat your employees with respect and empathy
Empathy is an essential element of emotional intelligence. Instill a culture of being mindful of other people’s feelings across the organization. Employees are unlikely to have a positive experience working with your organization if they feel unengaged.
4. Tailor success to customer needs
For a company’s success to be sustainable, employees must align with customer goals. There may not always appear to be an apparent connection between the concepts of both parties, but business leaders must redefine goals to achieve customer satisfaction.
Beyond sustaining their operations, brands should ensure customers are satisfied with the products or services. Adapting to the customer’s view of the value, you can uncomplicate processes and outline the context of success for your employees.
It instills a sense of pride in your employees, as they are catering to client needs and delivering satisfactorily.
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.
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.
1. Gather employee feedback
You might think that it does not make sense to ask your employees what they want. But when you do so, their inputs are contextual and meaningful to their roles.
Employees know their jobs better than anyone else, and giving them a platform for feedback can help create a culture where everyone feels like part of the transformation.
They may highlight process improvements that may have gone unnoticed or even uncover tools and resources to achieve success in their work.
2. Minimize technological barriers
The most important thing you can do to make sure your employees are invested in your brand is to provide them with all tools they need to perform efficiently.
A productive infrastructure includes both software and organizational capabilities for people to complete their work effectively. Remote working needs enhanced technological setups and simplified security protocols to ease distant collaborations among teams.
Therefore, invest in an advanced infrastructure that enhances productivity while streamlining processes to ensure employees are equipped for success.
3. Focus on their career advancement
Develop a healthy and productive work environment to reduce turnover and increase productivity. It also communicates your company’s commitment and belief in your employees’ potential for continued success.
You can benefit by training them as you will have more people with varied skill sets on hand. Creating such an environment keeps the morale high among team members while fostering motivation at all levels.
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.
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.
5. Check-in with your employees periodically
Regular check-ins with your employees help you gain a better understanding of their work. You can also address any professional or behavioral issues they might be facing. Schedule both formal and informal check-ins from time to time.
Make it a point that every manager interacts with their teammates to understand their needs better. Together, you can develop an action plan to meet both organizational goals and aligned individual goals successfully.
The frequency can be based on business requirements, but the agenda must be employee development and upskilling. Managers can also provide frequent feedback for performance improvement without having to wait for annual performance reviews.
This practice will enable managers to have a pulse on employee behaviors and, at the same time, give employees a more significant reason to keep performing well.
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.
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