Want a stellar CX? Start by enhancing the employee experience (EX)

A close-up of a person's arm in a white long-sleeved dress shirt pointing to a green smiling face, which hovers beside a yellow neutral face and red frowning face.In May 2021, Twitter user Devita Davison shared several photos of signs taped to windows and order boxes at fast food restaurants.

“Due to NO STAFF WE ARE CLOSED,” one sign states. Another declares, “We all quit!! CLOSED!!”

Others responded to Davison’s tweet, stating that they’d observed similar notices posted by restaurants struggling to find people willing to work some of the lowest-paid jobs available: Fast food cooks and food service workers have some of the most meager pay rates in the country, according to the Newsweek article “‘We All Quit’: Restaurant Signs Claiming Staff Walking Out Are Popping Up Across U.S.

That rash of fast food restaurant closures due to staffing shortages is one example of how a lackluster employee experience (EX) can torpedo the customer experience (CX). Because employees were dissatisfied with their wages and working conditions, prospective buyers were bereft of burgers, and the restaurants suffered.

The link between employee and customer satisfaction extends beyond the fast food industry. For businesses across all verticals seeking to stay competitive by delivering an exceptional CX, it’s clear that you can’t make customers happy without first focusing on your workers.

The link between CX and EX

It’s common sense that disgruntled employees won’t provide the best customer service. A 2021 International Data Corporation (IDC) survey of business and IT decision-makers and influencers found that 85 percent said greater employee engagement and a better EX led to enhanced CX and higher revenues and customer satisfaction for their organizations, according to the IDC blog entry “Employee Experience and Customer Experience – What is the Connection?

In the same vein, when Glassdoor (a site where people can anonymously review their former employers) compared employee ratings with the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a correlation emerged between the two sets of data: A one-star Glassdoor rating improvement translated to a 1.3-point out of 100 rise in customer satisfaction scores, according to the Harvard Business Review article “The Key to Happy Customers? Happy Employees.”

Additional research has confirmed that happier and more engaged employees correlate with more satisfied customers. Ultimately, it’s undeniable that any efforts to improve CX must address EX to lay a strong foundation for high-quality customer service and overall success for the business.

How to improve the employee experience

To enhance EX, the IDC recommends developing thorough processes for continually assessing and improving employee engagement and experiences. Key metrics and factors to focus on include the following:

  • Health and happiness
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Employee perception of the company’s transparency, trust and level of communication
  • Employee feelings of listening and engagement from coworkers and management
  • Opportunities for advancement and professional and personal development
  • Corporate social responsibility initiatives

Meanwhile, in a report on the connection between EX and CX, KPMG recommends concentrating on six pillars or fundamental elements of great customer experiences. These research-based areas of focus include the following:

  • Empathy (e.g., bonding with coworkers and leaders addressing issues with sensitivity)
  • Time and effort (e.g., leaders showing respect for workers’ time)
  • Resolution (e.g., promptly addressing workers’ concerns and allowing them to learn from errors without blame)
  • Expectations (e.g., managers setting clear ones)
  • Personalization (e.g., the work environment encourages individual development and learning)
  • Integrity (e.g., business leaders care about more than just profits)

Technologies such as cloud phone systems and cloud contact center software can also improve EX by allowing for more flexibility and accessibility (i.e., working from home), improving CX in turn. If you’re interested in exploring IT strategies and solutions that can enhance your organization’s employee and customer experiences, our trusted technology advisors would be happy to help.

We can leverage our extensive IT solution experience, our network of leading suppliers, and advanced tools to quickly identify products and services that align with your needs and goals and position your company for lasting success. For details, please call 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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