4 Tips for Using Employee Feedback to Drive the Customer Experience

By: Clarabridge Team

March 18, 2015

Customer Engagement
customer experience
customer experience management
Customer Feedback

Listening to customer feedback alone can only go so far when it comes to improving your customer experience. To make meaningful changes, you must also strongly consider the opinions and feedback of your employees.

Your employees are the ones who observe daily customer reactions and interactions, understand internal business and operational processes, and most importantly, who have the power to shape experiences from the frontlines. They ultimately make your brand image a tangible reality that people interact with. It’s up to you, the customer experience (CX) professional, to make sure that interaction is a positive one.

So how can you do this? Building a Voice of the Employee (VoE) program is a great place to start – that is, listening and acting on any feedback from employees that relates to their ability to deliver a superior customer experience.

To make the best use of employees’ feedback, create a robust VoE program that provides a deeper understanding of the customer journey, how employees impact the journey, and how employees feel about their own work. To help you get started, here are four proven methods that leading companies employ when building an effective Voice of the Employee (VOE) program:

Tip #1: Provide clear metrics and business context

Effective VOE programs clearly demonstrate why employees should care about putting the customer first. Provide clear metrics and a means for measurement, so that everyone in your entire organization understands how his or her work influences the customer experience and the business as a whole. There are many different metrics that you can deliver to internal teams, so focus on providing those that are relevant and actionable.

Tip #2: Make it easy to give feedback

Employees need to know that providing their feedback won’t be a laborious process. One way to do this is by making sure that every store location has computers available for staff to quickly communicate the customer voice. Or better yet, make the feedback portal accessible via smart phones or tablets. It’s critical to capture this type of feedback in real-time, immediately after the interaction has occurred,  so that the employee can capture all the relevant details and sentiments expressed.

Tip #3: Make it easy to act on feedback

Once you’ve collected and analyzed this feedback- put it to work. Customer insights need to get into the hands of those who are not only able to act on it, but are empowered to do so. One leading retailer is doing this by making sure district and store managers receive daily localized reports. These reports are customized for the specific store and highlight actionable customer feedback that managers can follow up on.

Tip #4: Make it fun

Your customers aren’t the only ones who can suffer from survey fatigue. Asking your employees for feedback needs to be fun; they need to believe in the customer-first mindset in order to make a difference to the customer’s experience. Think about launching employee engagement initiatives, such as lunch and learns, or inviting employees to present customer-centric ideas that the business could implement.

The bottom line

Many businesses have corporate policies in place that outline their dedication to the customer experience. But without the backing of employees, those policies will merely remain words on a wall. Give your employees a voice – whether this helps you better understand customer frustrations or identify areas for enhanced employee training. By acting on employee feedback, you show them that their opinions and experiences matter. Only then will they translate those corporate words and values into actions – actions that can make or break the customer’s experience.

To learn more about how leading companies are building effective VOE programs, read our CEM Tip Sheet: 4 Proven Strategies for Building a Voice of the Employee Program.