While voice of the customer (VoC) feedback is a key part of improving customer experience, it’s also important to collect feedback through other channels. You want to utilize all of your resources in order to have the most impact from your CEM (customer experience management) program, but there's one resource in particular that companies often forget to utilize - their employees.
When you hear ‘employee feedback’ you may think of asking employees about their benefits, work/life balance, relationship with management, pay and so on. But, when it comes to your CEM program, we aren’t talking about the average, quarterly employee feedback that businesses solicit. The type of employee feedback we’re referring to is the kind that has a direct impact on customer experience - the voice of the employee (VoE).
Employee feedback can help businesses get a better understanding of their customer experience, as employees are the ones dealing with customers on a regular basis, and have first-hand insights into the customer viewpoint.
In this blog, we’ll explain how important VoE can be, and how to use it to add value to your customer experience programs.
How (and when) to collect employee feedback
Let’s start by looking at how you can collect employee feedback. This is an easy one, because if you’re already running a CEM program then you likely have these tools in place.
Use your customer satisfaction survey software to create surveys for employees and ask questions to enquire about CX (customer experience). You want to ask your employees for their advice on your CX efforts at different stages in the program. You’re looking for things that indicate if they have the adequate resources to positively influence customer experience, and what feedback they’ve received or trends they’ve noticed from customers.
After running a mystery shopping program, share results with your teams and use this as an opportunity for open discussion. Regardless of the results, this isn’t meant to be a disciplinary task, this is a way to analyze results and identify room for improvement. You want your employees to know that they are a valued, integral part of your organization and play a key role in your company’s success. Sharing and acting on theses results is low hanging fruit that you can utilize to improve your customer experience.
Why is VoE important?
When creating a CEM program, your first step is often to listen to as many channels as possible at your disposal. Employees are one of these channels, and a significant stakeholder in this process.
Employees sit on both sides of the spectrum - while they’re aware of what’s going on inside the business, they directly interact with customers so they’re equally aware of their perception of your customer experience. Even just one employee might interact with hundreds of customers, garnering plenty of data and key feedback from your most important source. Now think of all the employees in your organization and how useful this can be.
You trust employees to represent your brand and interact with your customers - so trust them to be a part of the process and include them in coming up with the best possible CX program for your business. Company success does not fall on any one single role - it’s a shared responsibility.
Always keep employees in the loop on any changes or iterations to your CX programs. This type of information helps them stay up-to-date with company goals and strategies, while also aware of how these changes are impacting customer perception. This gives them the opportunity to pinpoint how your programs are executing, and look for areas for improvement and successes. You don’t want to create any gaps by concealing information from employees that might provide actionable insight into customers.
How does employee feedback help your organization?
When employers communicate how important employee feedback is, and that their employees voices have been heard, this goes a long way towards employee satisfaction. It’s no secret that engaged employees are more likely to increase productivity and performance. Harvard Business Review states that 71% of respondents ranked employee engagement as very important factor of organizational success.
Placing an importance on VoE demonstrates a respect for your employees, and provides them with incentive to want to excel at their jobs and live your company's visions and values.
VoE is important because their insight comes from a place that you don’t otherwise have access to. Employee perception is often different than that of management and owners or operators, as they’re primarily the ones on the front lines, dealing with customers on a regular basis. While some activities might seem valuable from a management standpoint, it’s imperative to find out how these efforts are really executed and if they do in fact have the desired impact on customer experience. This is information your employees can provide.
You don’t want to miss any blind spots when coming up with a CEM strategy. Programs are often created with perspective and experience from higher-ups in mind, but to ensure that you cover all aspects of your CX program it’s best to include observations from everyone - from the front line to the c-suite.
Don’t underestimate the value of the direct access that employees have to customers. Ensure that your CEM programs garner the results you’re expecting by placing an importance on VoE. By eliciting employee feedback it helps make employees more successful in their positions and shows that their opinions are valued at your organization. Start making your employees a part of the solution when creating CEM programs for your business.