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Scaling Up The Connection Between Employee And Customer Experience

  • 5 min read

The value of having happy, engaged employees is obvious: Engaged, satisfied staff deliver better customer service, which drives business success. Yet, creating the experiences that make employees feel good remains elusive for many businesses, as highlighted in recent Gallup research:

  • 64% of U.S. employees are not engaged in their work and workplace.
  • 15% of employees report miserable work experiences.
  • 74% of disengaged workers are actively looking for new employment or watching for openings.

With the recent year’s tidal wave of resignations and millions of jobs currently unfilled, businesses are understandably rethinking how they retain people and keep them engaged. More than ever, employees are looking for opportunities to succeed and feel good in their roles. They want to feel that their job is important and that they’re valued. As the Great Resignation continues, employers have a tremendous opportunity to reduce costly churn and accelerate growth and profitability by focusing on employee experiences.

What does this look like? It begins with taking stock of employee journeys throughout the day. Both simple and complex tasks can directly impact employees’ levels of engagement. By identifying what specifically makes them feel good (or bad) on their daily journeys, you can begin to optimize these experiences.

Of course, success hinges on having committed employees who want to do more than the minimum level of effort. When employees care about doing a great job and are engaged at work, they go the extra mile and use what’s called “discretionary effort,” the level of effort that drives performance and boosts the bottom line. This can be as simple as a barista who artfully adds a perfect, heart-shaped froth to a latte or as significant as a service agent who takes ownership for a serious customer issue and effectively solves the problem with speed and empathy. These experiences simultaneously improve employee engagement while creating brand loyalists.

What motivates employees to love their jobs and make the decision to go the extra mile? In this era of work from anywhere, it’s not about a well-stocked office kitchen or a pingpong table in the break room. Instead, employees want to know their work really matters. They want to feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as have the authority and autonomy to do the work that they feel matters. Put another way, employees know better than anyone how to help customers. We need to give them the freedom to do so.

How You Can Make A Difference With Your Employees

In this digital age, technology plays an important role in shaping both employee and customer experiences. But what about those things you can do right here, right now to start making a difference? Things that don’t require cost considerations, executive buy-in and potential upskilling? Here are some of my favorite ways to keep remote team members happy, engaged and motivated:

Let staff work where they feel happiest and most productive.

Enjoy the benefits of an all-in-one collaboration platform to smoothly work from anywhere. This might look different for your team, and that’s OK. They may use multiple different devices depending on their daily journey—their Bluetooth-connected smartphone while driving to pick up their kid from school, their tablet while at the coffee shop, their desktop when working in their home office, etc.

They may also use different platforms for communicating depending on their team’s preferences and work specifics. While a company may want to consolidate tools to streamline work and increase productivity, it should be up to employees to use what works best for them. Who are we to tell them how they should work? Considering the pressures and stresses they’re facing—and will continue to as the pandemic settles—it’s important that they feel in control of how work gets done without feeling judged or fearing unspoken consequences.

Take stock in their lives in and outside of work.

You may have heard the phrase, “Don’t kill yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead.” It’s true, especially in today’s world of remote work where the line between work and home is significantly blurred. But what if you make your employees feel invaluable? Irreplaceable? Irreplicable? We go the extra mile for people in our lives who we feel truly care about us.

Here’s a perfect example to illustrate my point: A friend of mine tragically lost his father earlier this year, one week after returning from eight weeks of paid family leave following the birth of his child. His employer could have responded in a number of ways, but ultimately, flowers were sent to the house the very next day and his supervisor told him to take as much time as he needed and that his job would be waiting for him when he returned. They also paid him for a full week of work the week his father passed. His employer could have easily demanded that he return to work in favor of the business. They instead prioritized him for the dedicated worker he is, and it made all the difference upon his return. It solidified his relationship with his employer and motivated him that much more to create great customer and business outcomes.

Harnessing The Potential

The pandemic revealed the critical need for companies to adapt to fast-changing situations and customer and employee needs. Businesses can position themselves to not only meet these needs but to continue to innovate with the goal of creating customer and employee experiences that engage and deliver new value. It’s our job to keep our workers happy in their jobs in order to keep our customers completely satisfied.