Why employee engagement could soon be critical to improving customer journeysby
With customer journeys such an integral part of improving experience, what role should employees play in guiding business strategy around the subject?
At the Confirmit Community Conference in San Francisco last week, experts discussed the concept of Voice of the Employee (VoE), while determining how employee feedback should be incorporated into customer journey touchpoints in order to garner better understanding of their experiences.
A number of studies, including Forrester’s Engage Employees research in 2013, have highlighted the need for businesses to involve employee feedback more in plotting customer journeys.
However, many business leaders are reluctant due to the processes and the volume of information involved in aligning a VoE programme, and several speakers at Confirmit’s event agreed that future reluctance could be detrimental to an organisation’s ability to be truly “customer-centric”:
“To differentiate, leaders must harness the power of their employees and diffuse their customer experience strategies throughout the organisation,” John Dalton, Forrester’s VP research director stated.
“Engaged employees deliver better experiences, boost profits, and are less likely to jump ship. But to appoint employees as customer advocates for and participants in the customer experience, organisations must weave customer centricity into their entire ecosystem.”
Tore Haggren, SVP for voice of the employee at Confirmit suggested the best way for businesses to adopt this type of approach was by implementing a combined Voice of the Customer (VoC) and VoE strategy, in order to analyse feedback from both customer and the employees involved at various different touchpoints:
“It’s clearly the best way to find out how customers and employees impact and relate to each other, but it’s also the best way to boost the bottom line. By incorporating factors such as revenue performance and churn rate, it’s possible to see just how significant the relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction is to financial and operational performance as a whole and to drive real change across the entire business.”
Kevin Sheridan, author of ‘Building a Magnetic Culture’ explained: “Companies must work harder to understand the key drivers of employee engagement - from regular recognition and career development through to open communication and organisational culture - if they want to empower their employees, and sustain an environment in which employees are less likely to leave and in fact are motivated to provide better outcomes for customers and the organisation.”
Forrester research suggests that, at present, only 36% of companies use employee insights about customer issues to drive strategic decisions.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.