Empower Your Employees to Deliver Outstanding CX
May 19, 2016
I recently had an issue with my cable bill, and when I called the billing department to resolve it, they refused to remove the questionable charge. The billing department employee told me that it “wasn’t her problem” and that it was caused by a website issue. Gee, thanks! That helps me a lot!
I immediately asked to be transferred to the cancellations department and threatened to terminate my service. This employee was much more pleasant to deal with. He apologized for the incorrect charge, removed it immediately, and then lowered my monthly bill by $10. I’m a happier customer now, but I know never to call the billing department when I have a concern– I’m heading straight to cancellations!
While cable service providers are known for going to extreme lengths to retain customers, this customer-first mentality only applies to the cancellation team. The billing department and the website teams are not motivated in the same way that the cancellation department is. The mis-alignment comes from the top.
For businesses to be truly customer-centric, or to unite around any value system for that matter, senior leadership needs to instill the values into the culture. This, of course, is not as easy as having a town hall meeting and telling employees to embrace certain values, or writing those values on the walls of the office space. Businesses need to invest in understanding the employee experience to determine how to best build a culture. The employee journey is actually even more complex than the customer journey. Employees spend 40+ hours a week with you and they’re heavily invested in your success. A two-hour on-boarding session and employee handbook simply won’t cut it when it comes to creating a good employee experience.
What makes an employee feel valued and motivated? Empowerment. An empowered employee is one who knows that their employer trusts them to use their best judgment and make decisions that have a real impact. Empowering employees to make on-the-spot decisions about a customer’s bill, for example, is just one way that both the employee and the customer can benefit from a culture of trust and empowerment.
Don’t forget—your employees are a critical source of information when it comes to understanding your customers. They are the ones who interact with your customers every day and get a sense for their true needs, wants, and feelings. But without a culture of empowerment and trust, employees won’t be motivated to share this feedback and make the business better. They will be disengaged and simply going through the motions of their jobs. And customers will sense that.
A company culture isn’t something that can be built overnight, but understanding how the employee experience impacts the customer experience is a key first step.
Elizabeth Clor is the Sr. Director of Content Marketing and Communications at Clarabridge. In this role, she is responsible for solidifying Clarabridge’s position in the marketplace as the leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) technology vendor. Elizabeth has 17 years of experience in high-tech marketing and communications, and is a regular contributor to various marketing publications. She holds a B.A. of English from the University of Virginia.