Happy customers are the beating heart of any organization. Exceptional customer experience is what wins and retains loyal customers. So how do you make your customers feel valued and listened to? A lot of it relies on your organization’s culture.
An exceptional customer experience tends to come out of an exceptional employee experience. Employees are no less important than customers to a business’s success or failure. So, companies must build organizational cultures of treating employees well, as if they are customers, too.
An Employee-Focused Culture
The link between employee experience and customer experience has been noted by many research studies. For instance, Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” survey recognized that happy employees are key to creating happy customers. It also found happiness does not guarantee what should be the bottom line of employee engagement: improved business outcomes. Companies tend to cultivate satisfied employees when they clarify work expectations, promote positive co-worker relationships and provide the tools people need to do their work.
In the U.S., disengaged employees cost organizations an estimated $450 to $550 billion per year, according to Gallup’s report. That makes it crucial to adopt an employee-focused culture that:
- Creates a satisfying and enjoyable work environment.
- Makes training part of the culture.
- Offers meaningful employee development.
- Recognizes and rewards excellent customer service.
- Shows employees they’re fully supported.
The concept of an employee-centric culture isn’t a new one, but a majority of workers are still disengaged. Therefore, it’s important to emphasize investing time and effort into improving your organization’s employee happiness factor.
The Role Of Knowledge Management
How do some companies achieve success in keeping employees and customers happy? They empower their workers to be engaged and passionate about the customer experience by:
- Cultivating the value across the organization that customer experience is a priority.
- Creating an environment of employee accountability.
- Implementing formal mechanisms that make it easier for employees to drive excellent customer service.
Longtime employees typically have more extensive knowledge of how to provide a better customer experience. Successful organizations recognize and reward internal collaboration and knowledge sharing.
A solid knowledge management system informs and educates your employees so they become experts in your product and services while also increasing self-service effectiveness. As a creator of these systems, we’ve seen the collective intelligence gathered in an organization’s knowledge base also allow employees the ability to access and deliver answers to customers more quickly. This leads to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
Improvements For Better Business
Is your organization forging a link between employee experience and customer experience? Are you building a culture in which employees feel valued, trusted and respected?
Look to your data to measure key employee experience metrics:
- Employment engagement surveys can be used to gauge which employees feel involved and valued.
- Employee net promoter score (ENPS) surveys are designed to discover how likely an employee is to recommend your organization as a good place to work. A higher score in this area indicates happier and more committed employees.
- Performance review surveys let you gather specific qualitative feedback. The data can be used to improve training programs, plan for mentoring and promotions, and identify skill development opportunities.
Employees matter as much to your customers as to your business. While it’s good to have a “customer is king” mindset, it’s just as important to remember the other people whose happiness is vital to your organization’s success. If happy employees make happy customers, you can be sure that unhappy employees make unhappy customers.
Becoming a customer-centric business is always worthwhile, and if you want to add a serious competitive edge, concentrate on offering a great employee experience first. When you see employee and customer experience as two sides of the same coin, the dividends you reap are unlimited.
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