Last Best Experiences: How Employee Engagement Enhances the Customer Experience
Due to advancements in technology that lend themselves to creating increasingly personalized, relevant, and predictive service, brands are continually raising the bar on what defines great customer experience (CX). So, while your customers will always compare your products and services to those with similar offerings, now they’re also stacking up the overall experience they have with your brand against ones in completely different industries. In this way, your brand is competing with every CX your customer has ever had – especially the last best one.
For Addie Rodman, Microsoft Alliances Director at Avtex, that experience was provided by her wireless carrier, T-Mobile, who has continually upped the CX ante since her very first cell phone.
What Happened During Addie’s Last Best Experience with T-Mobile?
After moving to Canada from the U.S., Addie needed to know if she could continue to use her current U.S.-purchased mobile device and phone plan with T-Mobile. While the plan would work, she discovered that after an extended period of roaming her data speeds would be throttled. In other words, she could only really use data if she was on Wi-Fi—which meant she wouldn’t be able to use it for GPS as she attempted to navigate her way around a new city and country.
Addie knew she needed a backup plan to avoid getting stranded. But after a visit to a local cell service provider to buy a pay-as-you-go Canadian SIM card for her T-Mobile device in case of emergency, she learned the card would only work in a "global unlocked device.” To figure out if this applied to her device, Addie called T-Mobile’s customer service and, after asking the greeting Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system about “global roaming,” was immediately routed to a human agent named Dee.
While on the line, Dee talked Addie through each of the steps she was going to take to find Addie the answers she needed. Within a minute, says Addie, she logged into her account, confirmed the device she was inquiring about, and discovered that, unfortunately, because she had recently upgraded the device, it wasn’t unlocked for global SIM cards and wouldn’t be until the remaining balance was paid. That’s when Dee came through with the magic words: “Because we value you as a longtime customer, I am going to override the system and unlock that device for you at no charge. We will have you up and running in no time.”
From Apple to USAA, last best experiences can be found anywhere.
What Made This Experience Stand Out?
Rather than upselling her to a new device or plan, Dee was equipped to recognize the value of a long-term T-Mobile customer like Addie – and took simple steps to reward and ensure that loyalty. It is clear T-Mobile empowers their agents to bring that human element to the customer service lifecycle and override the system all without having to pass Addie off to another agent or escalate to a manager. Why? Because they value customer loyalty, and they chose to put the customer experience first.
Successful companies empower their employees to do what needs to get done to make sure the customer is satisfied.Addie Rodman, Microsoft Alliances Director, Avtex
How Employee and Customer Experiences Collide
Employee engagement has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. The better trained and resourced employees are, the better they are at diagnosing and addressing customer needs. In turn, when customers have a positive experience, employees can gain a deeper sense of fulfillment and engagement in their work – swelling the ripple effect between EX and CX.
Delivering exceptional customer experience doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling your entire operating procedure. Instead, as Addie’s experience proved, it can be as simple as providing employees with the necessary tools and resources that make implementing a fix easy and accessible, rather than a cause for escalation and transfers. As simple as encouraging employees to treat each customer as an individual rather than a task with a time limit.
By enabling them to make and enact decisions in the moment, brands also encourage employees to take pride and ownership in their work – both of which are seen and felt by the customers they interact with. As Dee showed us, empowered employees are a company’s most valuable asset in creating memorable and meaningful customer experiences.