Want to deliver great Customer Experience? Start with your people!

5th Jul 2016

Ambitious companies don't rest until they've made their customers happy. To achieve this, many companies work hard on loyalty programs, company restructuring, and more expensive changes.  

What many seem to forget, is that creating real customer experience starts on the inside of your company with your greatest treasure of all: your people! 

HelloCustomer_EmployeeEngagement

It's all about your people

Imagine entering your favorite clothing store. It's completely renovated, a brand new concept in place. Today is the big opening. The store looks great, fabulous even! 

As you walk in you greet the girl who's folding shirts, but you get no response. That felt a little awkward. When you start wandering around, finding something nice to wear anotherstaff member is next to you.  After first ignoring you, you see her rolling her eyes at something you're wearing –you think.  Now it's really starting to feel uncomfortable being in this amazing store. 

Well, this perfectly illustrates how easy it is to destroy customer experience. And it's just one example of human interaction that can make or break a great experience.  

It's impossible to achieve sustainable success without engaged staff. Great employee experience is the foundation for great customer experiences. The more engaged your people are, the more likely they are to deliver the right experience to your customers, the happier they are to really go the extra mile for a customer!

Delivering customer experience is everyone's concern

Everyone in your organization has a role to play in optimizing customer experience, not just the people with a customer-facing job. It's a common mistake to assume that only thepeople who have contact with your customers need to be customer minded.  

Delivering great customer experience is everywhere in your process. From the design of your products, straight to assembly & installation and ending at marketing, billing and repair. Every division within your company has one goal: creating a product or a service that delights the customer.  

Your customers need to experience the exact same service in every phase within the customer journey. A journey that doesn't stop after purchase! 

Give your people something to smile about

If you want your employees to give service with a smile, you first need to give them something to smile about. It's your people that make your company's promises come true. If they get the feeling they can really help and that they're allowed to make decisions on their own, they'll be over the moon.  

How can you make your staff engaged toward your brand and your customers?  Here are some practical tips on how you can improve employee experience. 

1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A MISSION

Your people want to take pride in their work. A mission will fuel the persistent motivation to do a great job. It's important to set the right (achievable goals). Inform your team about the consequences when they're neglecting their work and about the result when they're doing a great job. Stress out to them that their work impacts the company's mission.

2. COMMUNICATE

Listen to your people and act on what they have to say. They're the ones that experience everything that happens on the work floor, when something doesn't work they'll know. Give them the opportunity to talk about it: schedule individual or group sessions with your people.  
 
Have you conducted a survey? Share the results. There's nothing more effective in destroying a survey process, than lack of action. When your people don't hear from you after providing feedback, they'll feel ignored. 
 
Make sure to share business results with your people. This perfectly aligns with the first point of action: make sure you have a mission. Show them how their behavior impacts the business result.

Also, make sure to complement them for the things that are going right. Don't just confront them with all that goes wrong.

3. TRUST IS A TWO WAY STREET

If you show your people you respect and trust them, they'll feel more appreciated. This will result in confident, engaged employees who are a reflection of a confident, engaged company. And the best part? Your customers will notice that!

4. SUPPORT NEW IDEAS

Giving your people a chance to come up with new ideas or solutions works motivating. 
 
This can start with small things, for example when you're planning a teambuilding. Create a shared document where employees can post their ideas. If they feel appreciated to shareideas for events within the company, they'll feel more confident giving suggestions forbusiness decisions.

These four tips are only the beginning. Keep in mind that you can't have great customerexperience without a great employee experience.  

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