Why Your Staff Are The Key To Great CX

In this post, group account director, Tyronne O’Callaghan, says happy staff means happy customers on your CX journey…

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to be part of a global campaign roll-out for a well-known Fortune 500 brand. A brand campaign that was amazing as at the time it totally disrupted the market. The other important thing was that the company spent a large amount of time enabling their staff around it.

The global brand team and their agency clearly understood that employees are a critical part of your brand. While they are often neglected, this savvy brand decided to embark on a global roadshow to educate and enable their staff about the role they had to play as part of the campaign. Staff needed to understand, live and breathe the promise of the brand campaign so it could be executed most effectively.

So there I was sitting in a room with hundreds of staff listening to the local leadership and global brand teams on stage when they decide to open the floor to questions. What happened next will be permanently etched into my memory forever.

Someone asked the executive on stage, why did they take their tea and biscuits away?

The next 20-minutes were spent talking about this. The executive on stage was busy justifying why they needed to take the tea and biscuits away! It was incredible. Clearly, there was a large portion of staff frustrated by something so innocuous. I remember thinking at the time; “how would the staff live and breathe the brand in a positive way if they were so pissed off with it?”

We have all had bad customer experiences based on interactions with staff. The reasons for it could be many. The person might be socially challenged, had a bad night with the kids or annoyed that their employer took their tea and biscuits away. Regardless, the end game is always the same. I’m not going back to that hotel. I’m never going to buy that brand again. I am switching to another provider.

In a world where businesses are becoming more customer-centric, we must not forget how critical your employee experience is to your customer experience. One of my clients uses the phrase EX=CX. I love it. It’s a perfect way to describe the relationship.

So how can you elevate your employee experience to improve your customer experience? How can an inside-out approach help with your CX strategy?

  1. Listen – Treat your staff as customers. Don’t just talk at them. Listen to their needs and pain-points. Develop programs or moments that will make them feel like you understand and value them. Share this insight with your experience agencies. See what ideas they can come up with.
  2. Surprise – Catch them off guard. You don’t want them to have to ask. You don’t want to be seen to be reacting to a groundswell of frustration. You want to surprise them. It could be an experience, but it also could be a simple gesture. For example, recently the CEO of one my clients gave all staff a surprise ½-day off because the company had a great quarter. The staff was stoked.
  3. Experience – You might not be able to reach everyone, but you can provide multiple pathways for staff to be aware of things. Encourage people to use chatter tools. Playback the experience to others in remote locations. Internal amplification is often overlooked.
  4. Share – You want all staff to be brand advocates and feel like they work at the best place possible. They should feel empowered and confident that they have the best solutions for their customers. Allow and encourage them to share their experiences externally.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t take the tea and biscuits away.

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