Voice of the employee: The key to improving customer experience

Customer service

Surprisingly, only 25 percent of Customer Experience professionals say their company’s CX programs actually improve customer experience. That’s according to Forrester Research, who recently hosted a webinar on the importance of creating a formal Voice of the Employee (VoE) program as one method of effectively impacting an organization’s customer experience.

The idea is that while many companies have formal processes in place to mine customer feedback, these often lack insight into the true root causes of service failures. But, by being intentional about collecting employee feedback (as well as customer feedback), organizations can more effectively tap into the full ecosystem of their customer experience, uncover root causes, and develop more meaningful, impactful and lasting solutions.

there are four tasks an effective VoE program should accomplish*:

1.)   Collect feedback from employees systematically – Whether it be an employee survey, comment box, intranet/social media comments, verbal feedback or “implied” feedback (such as attrition rates), the goal is to collect feedback regularly, and make it effortless for employees to give feedback.

2.)   Uncover root causes of customer experience issues – Integrate employee feedback with other sources, such as customer feedback, to get the full picture and uncover the true root causes of bad customer experience.

3.)   React to feedback and solve issues – Collaborate with employees to prioritize the identified issues, develop solutions and implement them.

4.)   Explain how employee feedback is used – A key part of keeping employees engaged in any VoE program is to close the loop on how their feedback is being used. Employees want to know their voices are being heard and see that their feedback is making a positive change.

To know more about how to create and utilize a Voice of the Employee program, contact us.

4 secret ways to delighting your customers

image-6So what does it take to deliver a consistently top-level customer experience? Sadly, there is no short cut to becoming best in class. Most companies take years. But there are four things you can do to get off to a good start:

Clarify. Before you embark on a customer-experience transformation, put as much effort and rigor into understanding your employees as you do into understanding your customers. Treat interviews, surveys, and suggestion boxes as important sources of information. Combine the input you receive with customer satisfaction scores, business metrics, and employee churn rates to isolate the issues that matter most to your employees and your business.

Align. Define a common purpose that encapsulates what your organization stands for, and make it the emotional pivot around which all your employee and customer strategies revolve. Forget slick marketing campaigns; instead, use common purpose to rouse your people to action on the things that count. Make sure all your leaders are 100 percent on board. Without their commitment, communication and implementation will soon break down.

Reinforce. Even the best customer-experience program is of no use unless leaders put their commitment into practice by being role models for the behaviors they want employees to adopt. Seeing leaders acting in a new way encourages employees to follow suit and makes common purpose a living reality within the organization. To help the changes stick you need a systematic reinforcement program combining training, coaching, and 360-degree feedback mechanisms. Develop metrics to track how employees are performing, and intervene when necessary. Training and coaching should evolve over time as the needs of employees and the organization change.

Empower. Clarity about expectations plus freedom to act equals an empowered front line. Establish quality standards to ensure your people make real-time decisions that are consistent with your common purpose. Then support your quality standards with behavioral guidelines to shape your desired customer experience and enable your staff to measure, coach, recognize, and reward one another in their day-to-day work. Armed with this framework, they’ll be able to handle every customer encounter in a way that expresses your company’s vision and values.

Technological advances have made it much easier for business enterprises to understand customers on an individual basis. Even so, engaging with them is still largely done by people at the front line, through personal contact. The continuous relationship of trust with customers that companies seek to nurture is built one interaction at a time. That’s what your people are hired to do. So to create an emotional bond with your customers, start by engaging your employees.

To know more about how we can help you in delighting your customers, contact us.