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The Road to Stellar Customer Experience Is Lined With Engaged Employees

by Carolyn Hall  |  
August 24, 2012
  |  10,284 views

Various variables contribute to customer experience: your product line, painless processes, engaged employees... Giving your employees the opportunity to maximize the impact they have on customer experience enables your business to offer a memorable experience while improving the key "Moments of Truth" in the customer lifecycle.

A voice-of-the-customer (VOC) program is a vital step toward understanding your critical customer touchpoints. By adding VOC, you not only get deeper insight into those experiences but also engage the teams that deliver them.

A Three-Step Effort

Follow these three steps to engage your employees and create successful (and profitable) customer experiences.

1. Ensure commitment


A company culture that fosters customer-centricity must be built, by example, from the top. Issuing an edict that states "we are now a customer-focused business" won't do the job. Executive teams must genuinely support such a program and commit to investing in projects that will move it forward.

Moreover, employees must want to create great customer experiences. Offering financial incentives won't motivate them. Rather, employees need to feel that they are part of a structured, intentional, and comprehensive effort that truly makes a difference. Customer champions in all departments—not just those that are customer-facing—can keep the momentum going, helping the sense of empowerment to go viral.

When employees want to deliver great experiences, the feedback they provide is insightful. Although customers may be the ones who report dissatisfaction with an experience, your employees are the ones who understand exactly which failing process actually caused the problem. Provide a channel that encourages your employees to offer that insight, helping to uncover solutions to fix key customer issues.


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Carolyn Hall is product marketing manager at Confirmit (www.confirmit.com), a global vendor of software for customer feedback, employee feedback, and market research. She can be reached at carolyn.hall@confirmit.com.

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  • by Rishi Fri Aug 24, 2012 via web

    Great article, and its important that you pointed out that (first-line) employees have better insight into the failing processes in your business, since they look at it from both the business' the customer's perspective. I would also like to mention the importance of using social monitoring tools that track the conversations and moods of various customers (or potential customers) on the internet. Check out our marketing tips and tricks including "How to Improve Website Usability" at http://mdv.to/NmISj3

  • by Michael O'Daniel Mon Aug 27, 2012 via web

    This is a fantastic article, and I congratulate Carolyn for writing it, even if possibly there was an underlying agenda of selling CRM software... :)

    To be truly effective in their mission, marketing people need to pay more attention to the front lines, to both employee and customer feedback, even to the extent of getting involved in the hiring and training process, input into the CRM process, etc., instead of being so obsessed with analytics. There is no substitute for anecdotal feedback from a live human being. Let the customer talk! For example, customer surveys can be an OK tool, but you often get more valuable information by accident when the conversation veers "off topic."

    Many years ago a colleague and I came up with the concept of HCRM, a marriage of Human Capital Management with Customer Relationship Management. The premise was that organizations ought to value their employees equally with their customers, especially those employees in customer-facing positions. Far ahead of its time then and still so today in this era of management by spreadsheet.

    One additional point to make about CRM: the metric ought to be how successful the CSR was in solving the customer's problem, not how many calls were completed or tickets closed per hour / day / week (once again, the human equation vs. the analytical one).

    Get out of your office and listen in on your CSRs' conversations with your customers! You'll be amazed what you learn.

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