In an effort to understand the connection between employee and customer engagement, we conducted a study that uncovered the factors that contribute to great customer and employee experiences.
In previous posts, we explored how seamless communications platforms can shrink the gap between customer expectations and a company’s ability to respond effectively, thereby increasing company profitability. We also took a look at how siloed customer data and disjointed communications technologies negatively impact the success of frontline employees.
As we peered deeper into the data we found that employee and customer engagement is so closely linked that leveraging separate engagement strategies negatively impacts not only employee productivity and customer satisfaction, but the company’s bottom line. The question then becomes how communications technology can empower employees and customers to work as one.
A poor customer experience is costly
Customers today expect more than just quality products; they also expect great customer service experiences. And when they don’t get what they want, they get frustrated. And, as we all know, when customers become frustrated, many simply move on.
According to the CITE study, quitting a brand after a bad customer service experience isn’t uncommon. In fact, this type of defection was shown to happen, on average, 4 times each last year. For Generation Z and millenials, the average was even higher. They cut ties an average of 5.2 times in the last year.
Customer engagement goes hand in hand with employee engagement
Fortunately, the study also uncovered why these customers were jumping ship. Among the leading reasons cited in the study were getting passed from rep to rep (41%), and having to wait longer than 10 minutes (34%)—clear examples of falling short of expectations. Ninety-five percent said they simply want to reach friendly, knowledgeable agents quickly and easily. And 72% said they wanted to make that connection using the communications channel of their choice.
In these cases, customer experiences were hampered by ineffective communications technology. Frontline employees simply didn’t have the tools to meet—much less exceed—customer expectations.
Here are just two ways that customer-facing employees aren’t being set up for success: First, 74% of them say they have to toggle between applications to access the information they need to resolve customer issues quickly. Second, when it comes to collaboration, 70% of these employees said they had to put customers on hold while they consulted with their coworkers.
Without the right communications tools, employee engagement suffers, which, in turn, negatively affects customer engagement.
Tie both worlds together with one platform
With employee and customer engagement being so closely linked, the best way to meet today’s rising customer expectations is to provide employees with a seamless communications workflow that enables them to interact with customers effectively and collaborate with coworkers for quick customer issue resolution.
According to the study, the vast majority of employees (92%) say 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.
In our next and final post in this series, we will look at ways you can leverage the results of this study to better invest in employee and customer engagement at your company.
To learn more about the research cited in this post, read our eBook: “Overcoming the Digital Age Disconnect.”
Originally published Mar 26, 2019, updated Aug 27, 2020