robert
Robert Murphy
April 12, 2019
Customer engagement
Customer Experience
Digital customer engagement
EX+CX

Solving the Employee and Customer Engagement Equation

Does the employee experience affect customer satisfaction? That was one of the questions our global research answered. In this global study, we took a hard look at how employees and their customers are affected by disjointed communications technologies and what conclusions we can draw from this to improve both employee and customer engagement.

In this post, we’ll pick up where we left off and continue talking about the link between employee and customer engagement; only this time, we’ll take it one step further and show that the two aren’t merely linked—they’re inseparable.

But first, let’s recap what we’ve already covered:

  • In the initial blog, we outlined the benefits that come from shrinking the gap between customer expectations and a company’s ability to respond effectively. Those benefits include boosting overall customer satisfaction and increasing company profitability.
  • Next, we showed how employee engagement is often overlooked as part of enterprise digital transformation efforts, and how investing specifically in frontline employees has a direct affect on both employee and customer engagement.
  • In our most recent post, we explored how communications technology can create a seamless workflow that provides the means for employees to work more efficiently and serve customers more effectively.

An integrated communications platform is the answer

To really affect positive change, our study shows that it’s time to start seeing employee and customer engagement as tightly connected requiring an integrated communications platform.

Customer satisfaction and business profitability are the driving force behind every commercial business and, in today’s age of the empowered consumer, companies are faced with ever-rising customer expectations. To meet those expectations, companies are turning to the technologies as part of their digital transformation efforts. Yet, our study shows that nearly every company we polled is in a similar situation. Companies are focusing solely on the customer experience for digital transformation.

When questioned about their company’s priorities, 76 percent of the respondents said that the employee experience was ignored. And when companies do focus on employees, their strategies typically involve things like free lunches, chair massages, and other perks but not the modern communications tools they need to work more efficiently and boost productivity.

This came through repeatedly in the study. For example, 90 percent said that disjointed communications technologies affect both workflow and job satisfaction. And yet, 75 percent of those polled said that employee perks had a higher priority at their company than providing an effective communications platform. 75 percent also said that they get unhappy when communications technologies hinder their productivity and negatively impact employee retention.  

You can’t have one without the other

Typically companies approach employee engagement and customer engagement with separate strategies driven by different stakeholders within an organization. But the data shows that what affects the employees affects the customers. This isn’t just a link; it’s a symbiotic relationship. Customers have questions, and employees need to provide answers. Specifically, this means that an effective communications platform must provide employees with the tools they need to meet their customer’s expectations. And that requires companies to rethink their business and technology strategies to deliver seamless experiences for both employees and customers, which will result in increased customer satisfaction and business profitability.

Look past the individual parts and focus on the whole equation

If you’re trying to find a solution to boost customer engagement and separately looking to find a different solution to drive employee engagement, you’re trying too hard. The study confirms that both frontline employees and customers want (and need) a seamless communications experience that quickly and efficiently meets their needs. In fact, 92 percent of frontline employees said a seamless communications and collaboration platform would make it easier to keep customers happy, improve customer satisfaction scores, and improve both the employee and customer experience.

It’s time to stop deploying separate technology strategies for employee and customer engagement and time to start thinking of them as two tightly connected parts of a whole.

To learn more about the research, read the eBook: “Overcoming the Digital Age Disconnect.”