If you’re sitting with your co-workers, chatting about the importance of customer experience (CX), someone will inevitably chip in with “Yes, but what about the employee experience (EX)?”. (I guarantee it! EX always pops up in a CX conversation…Don’t believe me? Test it out during your next meeting).
It’s a valid question.
It’s an appropriate question.
In my opinion, the insertion of ‘employee experience’ into a conversation about ‘customer experience’ is a must.
Why? Quite simply…
“You can’t have a good customer experience without a good employee experience, and vs versa”
The CX-EX Loop
Let’s take a look at the CX-EX Loop. This is a simple theory in which;
- A happy employee is more likely to provide a good customer experience
- A good customer experience makes the customer happy
- A happy customer makes the employee feel happy
And thus we continue to loop around in this wonderful cycle of all things good for business.
It sounds too good to be true right? Despite the acute simplicity of this theory, it works. Let me share why;
A happy employee is more likely to provide a good customer experience because:
- If they feel engaged at work, they tend to be more productive (working efficiently, making fewer mistakes, starting work on time and with fewer absences, etc)
- They are also more present and this cognisance makes them more likely to be attuned to customer needs and more observant to the adherence of the businesses processes and standards (according to Gallups state of the American workplace report)
- If they are happy at work, they are more likely to contribute ideas for improvement and development.
- Happy and present employees are likelier to act empathetically and do whatever they can for their customers.
A happy customer makes the employee feel satisfied because:
- They see the fruits of their labour. The employee sees the positive result of their action and is rewarded with a sense of accomplishment.
- There’s a sense of pride and motivation in working for a company with a good customer reputation. The Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Benchmark Study found 79% of employees who work at companies with “significantly above average” customer experience in their industry consider themselves “highly” or “moderately” engaged.
How you can maximise the effects of The CX-EX Loop
So you want in on this action?
Well, you’re in luck. There are some simple steps you can take to really ramp up the effects of the CX-EX Loop.
1 Support your employees – Starting with the basics, your employees need to feel supported to be able to do their job well. By support, I mean by equipping them with the right tools (easy-to-use CRM/efficient QA tool), providing them with good training and being present for them with good management.
2 Listen, act and empower your employees – One of the most impactful ways to make them feel engaged (and thus, happy) is to make them truly feel heard. Make time and space to hear what they are telling you about your customers, act on their great ideas and most importantly, put power in their hands to do what’s right for a great customer experience. This will also help to ring the bells of a good customer experience too.
Ideas to ensure employees feel listened to include:
- Listen via employee well-being surveys (Read more in this blog)
- Hold dedicated ‘Tell us’ workshops (where employees can share in a safe space)
- Have a ‘Suggestion of the month’ competition (and act on the winning suggestion)
- Involve them more in other areas of work / the business (Read more in this blog)
3 Shout about and reward great CX – We know happy customers make for happy employees so really ignite the impact of this. Pinnacle are a great example of a company reaping the rewards of this. Using EvaluAgent’s sentiment analysis, agents receive customer feedback to not only improve their performance but to also receive positive reinforcement. They also use EvaluAgent’s leaderboards to manage a data-driven recognition and reward programme for agents who deliver moments of “wow”. As a result, Pinnacle has consistently achieved a minimum 85% Quality Score through a period of growth and significant operational disruption caused by Covid-19.
Ideas to shout about and reward great CX include:
- Socialise and praise examples of where employees have used their initiative to create a wow moment
- Have a ‘Customer Feedback of the Month’ award, where a particularly great piece of qualitative feedback is promoted
- Circulate organisation experience data (CSAT/NPS/CES, whatever metrics you use, don’t keep them quiet in the boardroom. Share and educate the whole organisation to help nurture a customer-centric culture)
To sum up
It’s no surprise that the organisations that frequently top the Best Place to Work lists also deliver an exceptional customer experience. Glassdoor report Bain and Co as the number one (employee-ranked) best company to work for in the UK, and you guessed it, Bain and Co ranks 2nd in customer loyalty with 71% of customer stating they would recommend their services.
Similarly, Glassdoor’s second best place to work (a previous holder of the number one spot) is ServiceNow. At their core, they believe and demonstrate that “A great employee experience improves customer satisfaction, which helps the bottom line“.
CX and EX absolutely must be part of the same conversation. So in the words of the prolific entrepreneur and intergalactic space-man, Richard Branson: ”Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.