What businesses often forget is that their people are an essential element of creating better Customer Experience (CX). Your people are the engine of your business, and it's up to you to steer them towards a customer-focus.
It’s easy to get preoccupied with technological solutions to CX – content management systems, marketing automation, Internet of Things. But having fully engaged, happy staff, who are advocates of your organisation’s cause, is perhaps the most influential element for implementing CX.
It starts from the top
Senior managers and executives need to communicate the values of your business to employees, promoting a sense of purpose throughout the organisation. Significantly, they should treat employees in the same manner that employees are expected to treat customers. They should be role models for the rest of the company. Instilling a positive culture, where staff are rewarded and encouraged to actively participate in the actual running and direction of the business, will in turn have a positive impact on customers.
To succeed with your CX ambitions, not only do you need to find people with the right skills when recruiting, you also need to find people with the right attitude. After identifying the behaviours and values that represent your company, it’s up to you to find people that possess these attributes through your hiring process.
Once you’ve brought in the right people, it’s important to inspire and educate them with an engaging induction that communicates your brand’s values. New starters need to develop a belief in your company’s philosophy.
Valuing staff means providing value in return. This can be in the form of familiar benefits such as holidays, team events or inspiring office spaces. Benefits that speak to the emotions of employees, such as a ‘never work on your birthday’ policy, are influential to the experience of employees.
Providing continual opportunities for enhancement with training programmes is another means of providing value to your staff, which mutually benefits the company’s interests. A great way to do this is through rotating the roles of employees, enabling them to train and work in different functions and departments. Experience of multiple channels will help employees realise the holistic experience that customers’ encounter when engaging with your brand, ingraining CX into the company culture.
Staff need to feel that they can individually make a difference. That’s why they need freedom to use their own judgements and create initiatives that better serve customers. Deviating from ‘the script’ and bending the rules at employees’ own discretion makes true, reactive customer service achievable.
Empowering your employees shows them that they are trusted and acts as a strong motivator. Also, in the eyes of customers, it humanises your brand, providing scope for better CX.
Even with the right elements in place, CX won't happen on its own. Your employees are the catalyst for Customer Experience, and that’s why ‘people’ has a unique position on our Periodic Table of CX.