A Great Employee Experience Creates Great Customer Experiences

By: Kate Zimmerman

July 7, 2016

Customer Engagement
customer experience management
Voice of the Customer

At its core, great customer experiences start with each individual employee and their employee experience. Not only should employees be empowered and incentivized to deliver the best customer experience possible, they should have an intrinsic desire to do so. But how can you create an environment that fosters this sort of excellence?

Customer experience needs to be at the core of every single department in your company, including human resources. Companies like Amazon, who is known for always delivering one of the best experiences, starts this process by hiring employees who actually care about their customers. Your HR department needs to be in sync with the CX team and understand how each position they are hiring for can help make a difference. Part of the hiring process should be screening for employees who are already driven to provide great service, even before their job performance depends on it.

Once you have hired a team of customer-driven employees, you need to continue to instill in them the importance of providing great experiences. Your company culture and values should focus around this priority and both should be introduced as soon as a new employee joins your team. They should be values that are actually implemented throughout the organization, starting at the C-suite, and are a critical part of the employee experience. Your CEO can show how important this is by going into the field and actually interacting with customers on a regular basis.

However, just having these values written down doesn’t mean they will come to fruition. An employee’s success at the company should be directly tied to their contributions to great customer experiences. If your call center agent is taking twice as long but creating significantly happier customers, they should not be reprimanded. Ideally an overhaul to your CX as a whole will help reduce call volume and time by directing customers to your website or social accounts, but the end goal is a happy customer now matter how you get there. Remember that it costs far more to gain a new customer than it does to retain one. Additionally, placing this importance on happy customers will help instill a better employee experience.

Finally, make sure that you’re also giving your employees the opportunity to express their own feedback. Your field employees are likely more in tune with customer needs than your C-suite. They should have a dedicated place to submit feedback and make suggestions for improvement as part of their employee experience. And there should be a process in place to make sure that changes are actually implemented and employees receive follow up. At Clarabridge we conduct an employee feedback survey twice a year and have presentations on the results and also the changes that are implemented from these surveys.

As the Temkin Group recently revealed, the employee experience is a far from perfect process and many companies leave much to be wanted in this area. However, the emphasis that you put on the Voice of the Employee and creating great experiences for your own team directly reflects the importance that you place in the Voice of the Customer. Unhappy or dissatisfied employees are going to be hard pressed to deliver exceptional experiences.

Kate Zimmerman is a Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. Kate focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.