voice of the employee

Voice of the Employee: The Lifeline of your Customer Experience Program

Customer experience continues to be a growing need and focus for many companies. Rightfully so, as it leads to customer retention, acquisition, and engagement – three things every company loves to see. As it continues to grow, companies focus their efforts on finding ways to better understand their customers and how to deliver the best experiences to them; however, one area that often gets overlooked is how employees feel about the company.

Employees influence a significant portion of the customer experience. They not only engage with customers every day, but also represent the brand of your company. Therefore, how they personify your brand is just as important as how customers perceive it.

Employees can give insight into customers by providing info about:

  • How customers act in specific situations and environments
  • What customers love most about specific products, services, or your overall brand
  • Where the company can improve its customer experience

Analyzing employee and customer feedback simultaneously can help identify gaps in the customer experience. More often than not, the employee experience is directly tied to the customer experience.

For example, let’s say employees at a retail store feel they need a better way to announce in-store promotions. If customers are asking through various communication channels about what in-store promos are offered (i.e. social, chat, phone, in-person), then you can easily marry the two insights together to prioritize and improve the customer experience.

This same philosophy holds true at the corporate level. If employees don’t support a key initiative, strategy, or philosophy at a corporate level, they are less likely to embrace what the business stands for, which could ultimately damage brand equity.

When analyzing the voice of the employee, companies tend to fall short in execution. Most companies send out surveys which, when done right, can be extremely valuable; however, similar to customer surveys, employee surveys can be polarizing, inconsistent, and limiting.

It is understandable why companies use surveys – they are easy, cost-efficient, and have a significantly higher take rate with employees (100% if mandatory). Nevertheless, surveys can’t be the only source of employee feedback. Giving employees a forum to communicate their opinions, rather than asking them to answer a select set of questions, is much more valuable and will provide more candid feedback.

You may find these employee forums already exist on sites like Linkedin, Reddit, or Glassdoor. Because the data is so large and unstructured, companies don’t think to analyze it. That’s all changed thanks to the emergence of technologies like Topbox which allows companies to analyze unstructured voice and text data using NLP and AI technologies. Understanding your employees across any communication channel and comparing it to customers has never been easier.

Connecting the employee experience with the customer experience should be a key initiative for any company that prides themselves on CX. In KPMG’s 2018 US Customer Experience Excellence Analysis, they found that the employee experience precedes the customer experience and the top companies all had leading employee experiences.

Receiving feedback and insight from employees not only helps contribute to CX but also creates a more positive work environment where employees feel heard. If you are a CX professional looking for a way to improve your customer’s experiences, be sure to start by talking to the people you work with.

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