How can you sell something you are not actively living or practicing yourself?
The term customer experience has reached a buzzword level. It has become an integral part of every marketing blog. While these blogs preach many opportunities to improve customer experience, a major influence gets often neglected: employee experience. Whether employees are in direct contact with your clients or not, they play a significant role in achieving customer satisfaction and thus customer experience.
In this article we are taking a look at why customer experience should start from within your company.
Customer Experience is everywhere.
Let’s start with understanding what customer experiences defines:
We are living in an experience economy, where everyone expects positive, memorable, and exceptional experiences. Consumers do not longer value a product or service by itself. Instead, different factors that are related to it and build the experience around are taken into account. Your printed product catalog is part of it in the same way as your online check-out process is or your company’s social responsibility. Customer experience starts with the pre-purchase and ends with the post-purchase experience. The challenge is to make it a seamless experience.
Employee Experience touches three layers.
While customer experience is dealing with the question “How does my customer perceive my company?”, employee experience focuses on “How does my employee perceive my company?”. These are perceptions from two different angles, both crucial in their way. After having talked about customer experience so far, let’s see what employee experience is about.
During employment, employees are coming across different touchpoints and phases. All of them are part of the employee experience. We are speaking here from an end-to-end—recruitment-to-retirement—experience. Some might ask themselves, what makes a good employee experience? Is it the hippest office, a great company philosophy, best-skilled managers, or just a higher yearly bonus than competitors are paying? It’s a bit of all.
Employee experience is built on these three main pillars:
Technological pillar: Giving employees the right tools – computers, phones, software, etc. – to work and to succeed in their job.
Physical environment pillar: Creating a working environment – office spaces and extras such as kitchen, gym, etc. – where employees feel good to work in.
Cultural environment pillar: Having a good organizational structure with mission, vision and values employees can identify with as well as the offering of great compensation and benefits.
But where is the connection to customer experience?
Consequently, when feeling committed to a job and a company, employees perform at higher levels. Positive feelings about their job get transferred on their quality of work, and eventually, their potential interactions with customers or products & services they create for them.
Furthermore, businesses investing in employee experience are 4 times more profitable than their competitors. It’s a snowball effect, when your workers win, your clients win, and with winning clients, your business is on the right road to achieving success.
Another important aspect not to forget is that an employee is a company’s first customer. Employees are the ones taking your company image and values outside and integrate brand values in their daily working process. Fulfilled employees will contribute to word of mouth. Talking about the experience in their company will just come naturally.
Not least, investing in employee experience gives better opportunities to attract top-skilled talents and, above all, to ensure employee retention.
And it seems also to be the other way around: Already in 2016, the Employee Engagement Benchmark Study of the Temkin Group revealed companies that excel customer experience well have 1.5 more engaged employees.
Employees that feel taken care of feel appreciated and happy, which makes them brand ambassadors: happy employees create happy customers. Remember to integrate employee experience into your meaningful aspects of customer experience.
And who knows if in the end, your customer wants to become your next employee.