The disconnect between business leaders and employees is a frequent struggle that leads to a siloed culture in an organization, and it can only get worse if not addressed immediately.
According to CX specialist and author Ian Golding, the organizations that prioritized employees over customers had more success with CX. The reason behind this is that CX is often reflective of the employee experience.
As the Japanese proverb goes, “The customer is God.” Unfortunately, businesses tend to follow this ideal more often and fail to see the value of providing a positive employee experience. But believe it or not, it is employee experience (EX) that drives customer experience (CX).
In our blog, improving contact center productivity, we highlighted how making the agents’ jobs easier under stressful conditions shows how the organization values their time and effort – further motivating them. This, in turn, increases productivity and efficiency and ultimately creates more positive customer experiences.
When employees are unhappy and stressed, so are customers. Negative customer experiences have a direct impact on a company’s business revenues.
Employee experience influences CX in the following ways:
Forges better relationships with customers – When employees are happy and engaged in the workplace, they are more likely to respond to customer needs quickly with a positive attitude. This experience is then shared and carried forward to the customers, establishing a meaningful and positive relationship with them.
Creates a conducive environment for innovation and creativity – While employees are completely capable of delivering acceptable customer experiences despite their discontent at the workplace, they fail to bring innovation to their work. Creating an environment that boosts their morale and keeps them engaged will motivate them to stick around longer and develop more specializations and come up with innovative and creative solutions to serve customers better.
Represents the brand in a better light – Employees who are truly satisfied and happy at their workplace are more tolerant toward their organization and, generally, have a high sense of loyalty towards the company. Such positive connections with one’s organization make them much more considerate toward the company’s reputation and how they present the brand to the customers.
Establishing an employee-centric culture
An employee-centric culture is not simply a result of a competent HR team. This approach goes beyond compensations, office perks, and other quantifiable benefits; the emotional component should be factored in as a critical piece of the puzzle.
Attempting to fully engage employees is to truly invest in each of their personal and professional development. Fully investing in a person makes them feel valued and respected for their work and as an individual.
1. Work-life balance
The job market today is highly driven by employee expectations beyond good income and benefits. Therefore, to attract and retain the best talent in the market, businesses must consider flexibility at work.
Employees nowadays desire a work-life balance that allows them to spend time in a worthwhile manner outside of their work. Offering that flexibility in working hours, remote working options, holidays, or other generous allowances, is the first thing an employer can ensure to promote a more rewarding culture that can significantly improve employee satisfaction and experience, and as a result, the CX.
Employees who enjoy more flexibility at work are much happier and more appreciative of the freedom, fostering a solid commitment to their work and the organization.
2. Emphasis on culture and values
Even when they are working for a business, employees look for a culture and a set of values that truly matter to them.
Employee surveys aid organizations in truly understanding what the employees’ thoughts are about the company culture and values and, accordingly, focus on the areas that need improvements and align themselves with the workforce.
In the long run, the culture that stems from within the company, in the true sense, will play a significant role in how customer experience is delivered.
3. Recognition of good work
When good work is recognized and rewarded, employees feel that their work is valuable, creating a positive feedback loop that motivates them more to go the extra mile to deliver even better work in the future.
Recognition and rewards can be public recognition, bonuses, or simply being made to feel special in a manner that matters to them. Instilling a sense of pride and purpose in the CX team will help them understand how integral and valuable they are to their organization. It’s just a matter of trying to recognize a job well done and finding the appropriate way to show appreciation for their contribution.
4. Consideration for mental health
There has been a rise in awareness about mental health lately, and it has become increasingly important to address this topic in the workplace. Mental health issues can have a negative impact on an employee’s work.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, evidence suggests that 1 in 6.8 people, i.e., 14.7% people experience mental health issues in the workplace. The possibility is even higher in women (nearly twice as likely to have a mental health problem as men).
Organizations can promote mental health in the workplace by coming up with a plan that deals with such potential issues. In addition to providing therapy and counseling sessions in the workplace, managers can be trained to spot signs of depression or anxiety in employees and help them to get immediate help when needed.
Taking care of mental health at the workplace ensures that employees feel supported, happy, and of a healthy mind, ultimately helping them deliver their best work.
5. Investment in technology and communication
In an age where change and adaptability are the key drivers when it comes to delivering a competitive differentiator, technology is the most significant player that can streamline the end-to-end experience for both employees and customers.
New interaction models are helping organizations to quickly adapt to contemporary issues. As a result, there is a noticeable cultural shift happening with the increased collaboration between humans, data-driven technology, and innovative enterprise automation.
Combining automation with contextual knowledge has drastically improved employee experience as well as CX. This is a critical time to leverage contact center AI technology to enhance EX at the level of customer and market interaction.
The primary idea of investing in employee experience is to promote an environment of long-term and persistent growth and inclusivity, doing away with the invisible barriers, whether within the organization or with the external audience.
Prakash Hariharasubramanian, Director & Practice Lead, Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), HGS Prakash has led various IPA implementations across multiple industry verticals in his tenure of 7 years with HGS. In his role, Prakash develops IPA practice frameworks, creates IPA solutions, and serves as a key automation evangelist for HGS.
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