There are countless connection points that bind the experience of a company’s customers to that of its employees. How do you leverage that connection to better support your CX strategy? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started on building a cohesive customer-employee ecosystem. 


1. Understand what employee metric drives customer (and business) success 

Different companies define engagement differently, depending on aspects like culture, focus, purpose, employee population and more.  Whatever your definition, there is typically no more than a few main metrics that a given company uses as a north star.  Employee NPS is one example that companies are increasingly drawn to.  Understanding what those metrics are - and more importantly, which outcomes they tie to, be it turnover, CX results, productivity or otherwise - is paramount for a CX leader to understand.  There is often the expectation of a positive correlation between customer NPS and employee NPS, but while we’ve certainly seen it play out that way, it isn’t always going to be the case.  We encourage companies to dive deep into their metrics to see where the actual linkages are (and the direction in which they flow).  This will enable a partnership between CX and HR that is rooted in data and with potential to effect change where it matters.


2. Focus on employee behavior change, and engagement will follow

A true Customer Experience program should by definition bring along with it a host of behavior and culture changes throughout the whole organization. The customer experience team can involve their HR colleagues from the very start, not just to help train employees in these new behaviors, but also to support related areas such as professional development, incentives and compensation, and coaching. One practice in particular that we recommend is ‘huddles’, during which teams review feedback and create action plans. A team approach can help unite employees and create a unified approach to taking action and making improvements as a group. In fact, Medallia research has found that direct access to customer feedback in a team setting can have a big impact on employee engagement. In a survey of 1,000 customer-facing employees, employees who said they reviewed customer feedback daily were more engaged than employees who said they never looked at customer feedback—25 percentage points higher, on average. 

 

By partnering with their Development and Training counterparts, CX teams can not only ensure that their program is embedded, but also help drive employee engagement at the front line.  


3. Tap into the wisdom of employees to improve the customer experience

The people in your company who are most engaged with customers - those in call centers or in stores - have the best, and often most unique, view of the customer experience. They see patterns in CX that customers themselves may not, and are best positioned to surface ideas and innovations that get at the root cause of any customer issues  To capture this wisdom, companies are increasingly developing listening programs that empower employees to provide ideas or observations specifically benefiting the customer experience. It can be as simple as an employee survey or form, and again employees will also get the added benefit of becoming more engaged in creating and implementing solutions.

Engaging employees in customer feedback, and plugging the CX team into employee feedback as well, ensures that a company has a cohesive message and drive for their front lines.  Together, the two constituency groups of customers and employees drive the success of companies -- making sure their voices are heard in tandem will help make that vision a reality.

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