A good employee experience (EX) supports and enhances customer experience (CX) in many ways.
High employee engagement is linked to higher profits, higher sales and higher customer satisfaction. Plus, a good employee experience leads to lower turnover and absenteeism, resulting in reduced costs.
The best way to build up both simultaneously is to wrangle data on both sides to see a clearer view of all incoming information. Technologies that assist in collecting that data — as well as analyzing and providing insights on it — are critical in this endeavor.
Sherril Hanson, senior analyst at Dash Network, explained that the balance between excellent CX and excellent EX is important because it’s difficult for one to be optimal without the other. "It’s like filling a car with the wrong grade gas. It might run, but it won’t run well."
One factor that ties into both sides of the equation, according to Hanson, is employee training and development, including moment coaching.
"Better coaching leads to more confidence," she said. "Customers can pick up on that feeling, hopefully resulting in not just a positively wrapped up touchpoint with a company, but perhaps walking away with the feeling that the company is a place with happy, knowledgeable workers."
A lot of times, said Hanson, CX and EX are looked at as the “warm and fuzzies” of technology and can be a hard sell internally. "ROI needs to be demonstrated, and as the ties between EX and CX become more firmly established, this is becoming easier to do."
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Executive Enthusiasm and Commitment Critical
Dash Network, according to Hanson, has talked to a multitude of technology providers in both CX and EX, and one theme came through loud and clear for both segments: C-level sponsorship is crucial.
This idea concerns not just the initial enthusiasm but ongoing commitment and resilience — and it’s a team effort, which Hanson warned can’t just be a platitude.
"When we asked tech executives what implementations have they been involved in that had the highest rates of success, it was those organizations that infused CX and EX throughout their entire culture," she explained.
Prioritize Investments in Customer Engagement, Experience
David Singer, vice president of product strategy at Verint, agreed that it’s necessary to incorporate stakeholders and leadership from digital and contact center teams to ensure CX and EX are aligned.
"With a growing web of customer journeys and equally challenging employee dynamics, organizations are implementing technology solutions to orchestrate experiences across all channels," he said. "Digital-first engagement solutions address customer demands and expectations while also reducing the negative effect those demands can have on the workforce."
Instead of reacting to customer needs, organizations can anticipate those needs and deliver the right experience at the right moment on every channel.
"Prioritizing investments in customer engagement and experience, choosing automated, scalable solutions and implementing systems that foster seamless interactions are all ways that organizations can act to help achieve CX goals with EX excellence to produce a customer-obsessed culture within the organization," Singer noted.
To understand voice of the employee (VoE), brands are increasingly using voice of the customer (VoC) solutions, he added.
"We are seeing more interest in understanding the employee experience due to staff shortages and cost of hire. These are driving a massive spike in adoption. Our customers tell us they want a way to reduce employee turnover. VoC and VoE programs and solutions help companies understand why employees are leaving to help improve attrition."
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Avoiding the ‘Great Customer Resignation’
SugarCRM's chief customer officer, Chris Pennington, pointed out that customer and employee experiences are not two separate functions in the business; they are heavily intertwined.
"Ultimately, an organization wants its employees to give customers great experiences when they, as leaders, are not even present," he said. "We as people all want to be acknowledged and recognized. If you, as a leader, treat your employees well, you hope they will validate and show acknowledgment to your customers, resulting in excellent experiences."
From Pennington’s perspective, technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also critical to CX and EX excellence.
"By surfacing elements of engagement and experiences otherwise hidden in the data, AI-infused tools allow companies to stay ahead of the data wave — to understand and digest data in a meaningful way and communicate better with their employees and customers.”
He added that prioritizing customer and employee loyalty comes at a critical time.
"Today, the Great Resignation is putting a great strain on company resources, and it’s having a detrimental impact on customer experience and brand loyalty,” he explained. “When a skeleton crew tries to keep pace with rising consumer needs and requirements, the result is anything but good. In fact, it’s creating another phenomenon — what we’re calling the Great Customer Resignation."