It is no secret that two of the most important parts of any organization are its customers and the employees. Understanding the views and aligning the perceptions of these two groups is critical to customer retention and the longevity of the company. Closing the disconnect between employees and customers is a huge factor in placing a company above its competition. How can workforce optimization and customer service goals be aligned?
Advocates vs. Trouble-Shooters
Organizational culture plays a huge role in employee perception. Employees that constantly feel like they are trouble-shooters, just trying to solve a problem or close a sale as quickly as possible, will often not make proactive choices that benefit the customer. Instead, an environment that empowers employees to feel like a customer advocate encourages them to go the extra mile for their customer. Employees should be empowered to take charge, make decisions and provide a voice for the customer. Feeling individually responsible for each customer's satisfaction is a huge driver to providing the best service.
Having employees that provide excellent services yields customers who are less expensive to service and who use the company's products more. This cycles leads to a profitable business and an optimized workforce. Employees are able to use their time to service the few high-maintenance customers because the huge list of satisfied customers require much fewer resources.
How to Align the Two Groups
Simply put, ask them. Customer service and employee satisfaction surveys are fairly commonplace. However, the disconnect occurs because these surveys are usually performed by two different groups who do not compare the results of each. For example, Human Resources may perform the employee satisfaction survey while the Marketing department collects the customer service results. What if employees rate "product features" with much greater importance than your customers? It's a simple illustration, but it shows a disconnect between what employees perceive the customer needs with what they really care about. Talk to these two important groups and collaborate about the results. Aligning employee training and process improvements is just one area that can boost customer satisfaction and retention.
CRMXchange is a resource for customer experience professionals across all business sectors.