Richard Branson once famously explained the link between employee engagement and customer experience, when he said: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.”
And countless pieces of research validate this claim. A study by the Temkin Group last year, found that companies that excel at customer experience have “one point five times as many engaged employees.”
Employees are the interface between customer and brand, which is why engaging with employees, and keeping them satisfied and focused at work is vital for the management of a business, argues Kenny Bain, CEO at Rant & Rave.
“Companies that don’t have employee engagement at the top of the priority list will have a hard time pushing their customer experience agenda forward across the wider business.”
Below, Bain presents HR Grapevine with four tips organisations must remember when it comes to employee engagement:
“Gamification is an approach that improves employee engagement; aligning individual behaviours and characteristics with those of the wider organisation. At its most basic level it involves turning work tasks into games by introducing a healthy level of competition,” says Bain.
And, there are multiple ways to introduce gamification; a company could install an interactive leader board which ranks employees in terms of performance, or a dashboard that features real-time customer feedback. “This type of gamification is fun and interactive; staff can view and assess their own feedback and see where they rank amongst their peers, as well as within their department or the organisation in its entirety,” he says.
Companies will find it much easier to keep their teams aligned if they share their objectives and strategies.
“By sharing plans and celebrating achievements together the whole organisation can get excited and individuals will feel like they are part of the bigger picture,” Bain argues. “This transparency allows agents to realise their role within the company.” Couple this with honest feedback and staff can develop a clearer idea of what customers like about what they’re doing, and conversely with negative responses, work on those areas in need of improvement.
“Empowering frontline agents is about providing them with a clear framework to work within, but with flexibility. It’s not about throwing away the rulebook,” he continues. “The definition of why and how they do things should remain, but they must feel they have some power to use their personal skills to adapt their interactions.”
This, Bain argues, is about giving employees a real sense of purpose and demonstrating to them the power they have in creating great customer experiences. “If they feel trusted and have the power to solve problems, companies will see them taking pride in their role and the results will speak for themselves,” he says.
“A simple ‘well done’ can go a long way, and the celebration of successes will give employees will improve performance all around,” says Bain. “Frontline agents are the key to an organisation’s ability to provide outstanding customer service. If a company develops a comprehensive employee engagement strategy focussed around listening to and empowering agents, then they, in turn, will have the ability and inclination to do what is best for the customer.”