Customers are more empowered with choices, more vocal about their desires, and more tech-savvy in their communication than ever before. Satisfying customer expectations each and every time determines whether today’s businesses rise or fall. To rise, enterprises not only need to maximize the customer experience, but also shift their focus to employee engagement. After all, the more engaged their employees become, the more value they can provide to customers.
IDC’s recent Experience Survey 2015 stated that “the ability to link both employee and customer experiences together in order to deliver a holistic view of digital and social transformation is at the epicenter of competitive differentiation.” While enterprises must approach their business strategy through a customer-obsessed lens, they cannot successfully drive digital transformation or create unique customer moments if their employees are unmotivated and bogged down by old, clunky technology. These factors hinder their ability to engage with customers and excel at their job.
Companies need to put more accountability, authority and information into the hands of employees who are closest to their products and customers. When employees have access to tools that improve the quality of their work lives, can service clients in the moment, and have opportunities that incentivize and reward their hard work, barriers that prevent deeper engagement at work and with customers are reduced.
However, 69.4% of companies do not measure employee experience at all. This must change; all companies need to gain a better pulse on how engaged their employees are to evaluate their ability to impact the customer experience. While measurement is strongest for frontline employees who interact directly with customers, the customer relationship isn’t solely owned by one department. Companies must evaluate employees across all functions — sales, service, marketing, IT, operations — as engagement is the currency that allows brands to improve market share, wallet share, customer retention, and cost containment.
As companies aggressively rework internal structures to focus on employee engagement, these strategies are indispensable to elevating engagement across the organization:
Activate a mobile-first mentality — mobile improves employee experiences and business processes by adding content and improving functionality to employee interactions. As Bluewolf’s latest report showed that 45% of companies plan to increase their investments in mobile over the coming year, leading organizations recognize that facilitating communication and knowledge sharing via mobile devices increase employee efficiency and engagement.
Consult end-users of system changes beforehand — Create an advisory group, with representation from across the company, to gain a holistic view of how changes will impact the organization and align to end-user needs. Prioritize changes with wide reaching, positive impact, and be transparent about the process to ensure employee trust.
Invest in ongoing training and communication — Deploy a multi-touch, multi-channel communication approach. Only employees empowered with the right knowledge can absorb system changes appropriately. Having a governance process that enables innovation and ensures quality is critical to supporting and streamlining ongoing engagement.
Engagement goes through the roof when enterprises are actively aligned around a common goal: improving their business by elevating both employee and customer experiences. Companies that invest in deepening engagement through well-defined strategies will ultimately reap long-term benefits that are felt throughout the organization and seen through measurable business results.