For too long, many businesses have overlooked employee experience as a factor in business success, yet the correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction has never been clearer. While business leaders understand that happy employees create happy customers, most businesses have yet to fully explore this correlation and take action.
Underinvestment, outdated legacy systems, and misaligned priorities have all had detrimental effects on employee experience and, as a consequence, customer experience. So, what are the actual benefits of designing and building better tools for your employees?
Efficiency and Productivity
The proverb ‘a bad workman blames his tools’ has perhaps fallen out of favour in the current work culture of hyper-productivity, but the sentiment still rings true in many senses. Productivity is a reflection of the tools your employees have at their disposal to carry out their jobs effectively and efficiently.
With the growth of AI and data systems, the power of modern, user-friendly tools to foster productive work environments has never been greater. The responsibility lies with CEOs to tap into the full potential of their employees by developing these tools.
Collaboration and Communication
So many internal communication platforms or processes are outdated or not fit for purpose within modern, fast-paced professional environments. Building effective and streamlined communication processes into internal operations is easily sidelined. However, there’s no move more vital when it comes to fostering a productive culture of teamwork and collaboration. By scrutinising how your employees communicate, you can tailor and expand internal platforms, changing the game when it comes to information and knowledge sharing.
Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
According to a study by Gallup, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. Making certain that your employees have adequate tools to help them carry out their work is an essential part of fostering engagement and boosting job satisfaction. Your business will see a return on investment in reduced staff turnover, saving on the cost of hiring and training new staff.
According to a report which looked at the McKinsey & Company contact centre, each new agent hire was estimated to cost the contact centre £10,000 to £20,000 in training. This alarming figure is more common than you would think, highlighting just how worthwhile it is to invest in developing your employees with long-term goals in mind.
Training and skill development should not just be a tick in the box when a new hire is onboarded. Instead, promoting a culture of continuous skill development and investment in professional growth will pay long-term dividends.
What do happy customers mean for your business?
As the (hopefully!) friendly faces of the company, your employees are at the forefront of how your business is judged. It is the tools and systems that your employees use that shape customer interactions and define perceptions. I’ve seen this first-hand when I worked with a well-known, major bank to streamline its customer helpline interface.
Previously, its employees had to go through five separate systems to get a full view of a single customer’s information. This ‘swivel chair’ set-up is common in the financial services sector and unifying these systems, often legacy products, can be a daunting challenge. However, the results are worth it. By streamlining the platform, employees were able to process and resolve enquiries much faster, making the ultimate goal of first-time call resolution much more achievable.
These seamless interactions shape customer experiences and define your brand. According to a study conducted by Microsoft, globally, 96% of consumers reported that customer service is an important factor in building the brand loyalty they feel for an organisation. Happy customers choose to stick with your brand when they feel they can trust you to deliver the service they have promised. This is especially important now that we’re six months on from Customer Duty coming into force, meaning that regulators can now fine businesses for failing to deliver promised outcomes to customers.
A study conducted by Forbes in 2019 found that customers tell an average of 9 people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience. This finding has become increasingly significant with the growth of social media and customer review forums. Promoting positive word-of-mouth marketing is key to building credibility for your business. Exceptional customer experiences are the most powerful tools when it comes to achieving brand differentiation.
In fact, measuring customer experience has never been easier with technology at your disposal to collect and analyse unfiltered feedback. The process of actively seeking out feedback from customers should be an on-going process driving a culture of constant improvement and development throughout your business.
Happy Employees, Happy Customers - An Integrated Approach
The interconnectedness of employee experience and customer experience cannot be overstated. These are not isolated concepts, but fundamental pillars of a successful business strategy. By investing in streamlining workflows and empowering staff, exceptional customer service will distinguish your brand. Employee satisfaction is the make or break of your company.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! What benefits have you found from investing in employee experience?
If you’d like to hear about how we’ve helped companies boost customer loyalty and grow long-term profitability through customer experience design, read more here.
About the author
Roger is an Experience Design Director based in London, working with Tangity, part of NTT Data's global design brand. The inspiration for this article stems from his extensive experience in the digital transformation of projects for the staff and customers at HSBC and UBS, two prominent clients we have worked with long term.