For most businesses, customer and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. The way employees interact with customers and how customers feel about their interactions with those employees has a profound impact on the business.
Yet, company leaders can easily overlook both sides of this equation and miss out on opportunities to improve both when they focus on other aspects of their business.
However, companies can get it right by creating an omnichannel strategy that ensures positive customer and employee experiences. Companies that do so will guarantee employees deliver exceptional service and be more successful than their competitors.
Here is why customer and employee experience should matter to businesses and how to take an omnichannel approach to the employee and customer experience.
Employee Experience Ties Into Customer Experience
The customer experience is the most important aspect of a business. It is what brings customers in the door and keeps them coming back. However, employee experience also matters — it directly impacts the customer experience.
Employees are the face of the business to the world outside of the office walls. When they are happy, engaged and fulfilled, they can better connect with customers and provide them with a great experience that will encourage them to return.
By taking care of their employees first, business owners will see the benefits for everyone involved.
For instance, employees will be happier and more productive. They will have better customer relationships because they will be more engaged and less likely to burn out. Plus, when employees are happy, they are more likely to refer new business opportunities to their coworkers — so it pays off either way.
Employee Experience Influences Engagement and Motivation
Employee experience is a large part of what influences their engagement and motivation. Employees want their company to make them feel valued by meeting their needs and treating them with respect. When team leaders help their employees feel this way, they work harder and longer hours.
They also tend to take more ownership over their work, which means they are more likely to stay with the company long term. When companies invest in happy employees, it can help them attract new talent as well.
People want to work where they feel like they belong, are supported and can make a difference. That is a major part of why they applied in the first place.
A Positive Experience Reduces Costs
A positive customer experience can reduce costs and increase revenue. When customers have a good experience with a company, approximately 86% of customers are likely to return and buy more.
That is why employees at all company levels must be mindful of how they treat customers. How they speak and respond to customers can make all the difference in whether or not they become repeat customers.
On the other hand, a happy staff also means lower turnover rates and less time spent training new workers. These translate into less money spent on recruiting new hires and training people who need more preparation for the job.
It is also important for employees to feel safe when working with customers or other team members. If someone feels uncomfortable, they may leave without giving enough notice, leading to a choppy transition.
Great Customer Experience Leads to Positive Word-Of-Mouth Promotion
What is the best way to get customers to tell their friends about a business? The answer is a great customer experience. Customer experience is more than providing a quality product or service — it is also about ensuring every step of the process is seamless and easy.
When companies take the time to listen to their customers’ wants and needs and treat them like individuals, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about the brand and recommend it to others.
Word-of-mouth promotion can make or break a business. Therefore, clients who love their experience will recommend products and services to their friends, family and colleagues. Yet if they feel ignored or disrespected, they are less likely to return for more business in the future.
Word-of-mouth is essential for businesses because it allows them to reach new customers without spending money on advertising.
Happy Employees Are More Innovative
Innovation is one of the most important factors in business success. In fact, some business leaders will say a company’s ability to innovate is more important than financial resources or physical assets when determining its overall success.
Therefore, when it comes to innovation, happy employees are key. When employees are happy at work, they are more likely to contribute new ideas, be more creative, and take on more responsibility.
They will also be more likely to think outside their own areas of expertise and share their knowledge with other employees.
This, in turn, creates a culture of innovation throughout the organization and allows companies to be more productive in providing a great product or service for their customers.
Create an Omnichannel Strategy to Support the Employee and Customer
The most successful companies of the future will be those that have developed an omnichannel strategy to support their employees and customers.
An omnichannel strategy is an overarching approach to how employees interact with customers. Therefore, it requires a shift in thinking about communicating with customers at every touchpoint in their journey.
When planning an omnichannel strategy, remember that it is more than about the technology. It is also about creating a customer experience that allows people to get what they need when they need it, no matter where they are in their journey.
That means companies must consider the end-to-end experience of each touchpoint in the customer journey. They should also consider how their employees interact with customers on the phone or through social media, how they work together, and support them with technology.
Here are four steps to creating an omnichannel strategy:
1. Identify Customers’ Preferences
The first step to creating an omnichannel strategy is identifying customers’ preferences.
Businesses can do this by asking them what they want and why or observing their behavior on the company’s site.
Some customers prefer talking on the phone, while others would rather reach out to a company via email.
Businesses also easily discover customers’ preferences by conducting surveys, running focus groups, and asking their customers why they use certain channels.
They will study how customers interact with their business, looking for patterns that indicate what works best for different types of customers.
Once business leaders know what their customers like, they can tailor their omnichannel strategy accordingly — and deliver the best possible experience for each customer.
2. Look at What Is Available in the Market Today
Many tools can help companies manage their multi-channel presence and streamline the process. Some allow companies to manage their online presence across platforms and create a one-stop shop for each location.
Companies can also use them to create a unified experience for their customers, no matter where they engage with their employees.
Though much of an omnichannel approach involves technology — it is also about how companies use those tools to create a seamless customer experience. Business leaders can do this by understanding what their competitors are doing, alongside their strengths and weaknesses.
They should also be able to pick up on industry trends to be ready for when something new comes along.
3. Find Out What Employees Need to Succeed in Their Roles
It is important to understand the employees’ responsibilities and how they can use all the available channels to perform their jobs well.
Doing so allows employers to implement a strategy that the workforce can execute, making meeting company goals and objectives easier.
To truly get under the skin of employees’ needs, start with open-ended interviews. Ask questions like “If we could give you any kind of technology or tool that you didn’t have access to before, what would it be?”
It also helps to ask them if there are any recurring tasks they’d like help with so they feel more supported.
4. Implement an Omnichannel Strategy
Implementation is the final step in the omnichannel strategy creation process. Once a plan is in place, it is time to put it into action.
Before getting started, it is imperative to ensure that team members align with company goals and how they can achieve them. They should also know what success looks like for each channel and why. That way, they have a good understanding of what they should be doing.
Second, make it easy for them to figure out how everything works within the system. They should also have access to the right people when they need help. This will make it easier for them to get started, leading to better results.
Finally, ensure everyone is on the same page as far as expectations go. This includes what each person should be doing and how long it will take them to complete their tasks.
Good Customer and Employee Experiences Matter
It is clear why good customer and employee experiences matter. The benefits are numerous — from increased productivity to better retention and profitability.
All businesses can afford to create great experiences for their customers and employees, so use these tips and tricks to get ahead.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.
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