Customer experience is rapidly gaining momentum as a strategic pathway to optimizing business results for many organizations in a variety of industries. Companies are recognizing the benefits of customer-centric strategies, including: higher revenues, lower costs, and stronger employee and customer loyalty. Along with these positive results, there is also an added benefit; a renewed emphasis on engaging all employees, regardless of their position within the organization, toward this customer-focused transformation.
Progressive organizations with customer-driven leadership and culture understand that a superior customer experience strategy goes well beyond making products and services. A winning strategy also involves a rewarding employee experience that integrates the company’s vision from the boardroom aspirations of managers to the individual actions of frontline workers in day-to-day touchpoints with customers. Real gains are made to achieve customer experience goals when organizations align their commitment to customer-centricity with the interests of their employees, and to do achieve this, they must commit to improving their employee experience.
Regardless of the organization or industry, people are at the heart of creating and delivering customer experiences. To ensure consistency of purpose, passion for service, and pride in results, employees must feel valued and engaged in the process of customer experience. Employee experiences are maximized when companies and their people work together to create personalized, authentic experiences that ignite passion to strengthen individual, team, and company performance. An engaged and energized workforce translates individual employee experiences into satisfying end-to-end customer journeys that create and sustain profitable competitive advantages.
A productive, positive employee experience has emerged as the new contract between employer and employee. Just as marketing and product teams have moved beyond customer satisfaction to look at total customer experience, human resources departments are now focusing efforts on building programs, strategies, and teams that understand and continuously improve the entire employee experience.
Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in today’s highly competitive economy. Employers are recognizing that they must re-imagine every aspect of work, from recruitment, orientation, coaching, mentoring, and job evaluations to collaboration, perks, and the workplace itself to win the war on talent in rapidly changing job market. Providing a rewarding experience built on the foundation of culture and engagement contributes to worker satisfaction, engagement, wellness and alignment and helps companies succeed in attracting and retaining employees.
Internal-customer experiences are just as, if not more important, than external-customer experiences and the positive implications are many. A recent McKinsey and Company study, revealed that improving employee experience is important because it:
1. Improves the quality of internal services that ultimately have a direct impact on the experience of customers.
2. Increases worker satisfaction, fosters a positive work environment, and helps attract and retain talented people.
3. Reduces costs by increasing productivity, eliminating process inefficiencies, and reducing absences.
Simply put, if organizations want to serve their customers well, they must begin by serving their employees well. By focusing on creating a more collaborative, open and engaged workforce, everyday internal interactions between staff will improve, and companies will reap the many benefits of satisfied and loyal customers.
About the Author - James Grieve CMC, MBA
James Grieve is a Certified Management Consultant and partner in Nucleus Strategies, a Kelowna-based consulting firm that specializes in working with businesses in a variety of industries to design great service experiences that delight customers and improve business performance. For over 20 years James' consulting career has been well balanced among: strategic planning, marketing strategy, project management, change management, B2B and B2C sales, customer experience design, and business development, with emphasis on building, nurturing, and sustaining client relationships.
He can be reached at 778.214.6010, or firstname.lastname@example.org.