by Kurt Schroeder
The relationship between the customer experience and employee engagement is becoming increasingly enmeshed. Brands now need to compete with 360-degree digital experiences that fulfill both customer AND employee needs and preferences at every touchpoint. What companies often fail to understand, however, is that without strong employee engagement, the best customer and employee experiences fail right out of the starting gate. In fact, research has proven that companies with poor employee engagement metrics report performance numbers that are nearly 150% lower than their competitors.
Companies with poor employee engagement metrics report performance numbers that are nearly 150% lower than their competitors
Modern workforce challenges from forced, rapid digital transformation over the past two years have severely impacted employee engagement. This is a major driver of statistics that show employee retention at a historic low point in the U.S. (A recent Gallup poll reported that only 34% of North American workers are “actively engaged” in their current job.) These numbers are driving challenging trends like the Great Resignation, as monthly resignations reached an all-time high in 2021.
After all of this disruption, one thing has become abundantly clear. To deliver the best customer experience, companies have to focus on creating the strongest employee experience. The strongest employee experience requires, first and foremost, outstanding, long-lasting employee engagement.
Digital Experience Trends and Employee Engagement
The experts at Avtex have several recommendations for the top digital experience improvements companies can and should make in 2022, Many of those recommendations can also boost employee engagement and deliver a stronger digital experience for your company. In a nutshell, these may include:
- Centralizing strategy and platform to help destroy existing silos, simplify tasks, and improve data management.
- Optimizing self-service (beyond FAQ’s and knowledge-based libraries) to leverage data and motivate the behavior you want from customers and employees.
- Getting smarter about automation to help accelerate agility and remove menial tasks from human hands (and minds).
- Using live, actionable data to predict the “next best” behaviors throughout the entire digital journey.
- Moving to the cloud to enable centralized strategies, deliver real-time actionable data, and improve your self-service options.
Want to learn more about the digital experience trends you should consider in 2022?
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not only the customer experience that needs to adapt in 2022. The employee experience must adapt right along with it, which requires building a strong culture that drives strong employee engagement. That means taking care of employees in the same way you take care of your customers.
Employee Experience and the Digital Journey
Our culture of getting products to market as fast as possible means there have been huge advancements in technologies. Unfortunately, customer service capabilities have not always kept up, creating a huge disconnect between what your customer sees, and what your employees can access. This disconnect creates big challenges that can causes frustration and friction, and erodes employee engagement.
The automobile industry is an example of this disconnect. New car owners have access to incredibly sophisticated in-vehicle technology, while customer service technologies in the hands of agents remain antiquated. Today’s customer service systems have the embedded intelligence to help agents come up to speed, but very few organizations have invested enough in that area to provide agents this access, which can be incredibly frustrating for customers and employees.
Moving your platform to the cloud will help remove silos, support data delivery that informs each touchpoint, create an environment of hyper-personalization. Not only does that make your CX stronger, it makes your employees more efficient, effective, and engaged.
The very best way to take care of your employees is to deliver the same experience that your customers are receiving. That means creating customer experiences that support better interactions and enabling your employees with the same advanced tools and processes you’re giving your customers. So much of the customer experience is weighted in their interactions with your brand and your employees. Reduced friction within that experience translates directly to more delighted customers and more empowered staff.
Looking after and engaging your employees means they can perform better. And that means a better, and stronger customer experience.
Employee Engagement and a Centralized Strategy – the Avtex Way
A customer experience that includes many disparate systems naturally creates silos of data. That makes creating a truly holistic, 360-degree customer experience pretty tough. While cloud technology is something you need to consider, first you must shift your mindset to a centralized strategy.
Remember that data is the core of any centralized customer experience strategy. It informs every decision about creating the best possible experience and building engagement for both customers and employees. But it doesn’t start with data.
A centralized strategy is the first step in building a 360-degree view of customers and employees. Mapping both the desired customer and employee journeys can be a big part of that strategy as well. That starts with understanding what your employees have to say, and making it equally as important as customer feedback.
Without strong employee engagement, your brand’s customer experience will never fully come to life. That’s why Avtex continues to advocate for better engagement – and stronger employee experiences – as a required element of CX by:
- Listening to the voices of your employees and incorporating that information into improving the overall digital experience.
- Enabling them with technology that is just as powerful as what you give your customers.
- Embracing the connection between employee engagement, the customer experience, and your bottom line.