It’s common knowledge in the CX community that your efforts can’t just sit in a silo; the entire organization needs to be invested in the customer and play a part in the greater scheme of things.
In a previous article, I discussed the three C’s brands should consider when guiding their entire organization to a great customer experience: culture/capacity (an organization’s overall framework, culture, and essence), competence (the knowledge, skills, attributes, mindsets and behaviors an organization offers), and capability (what makes a brand unique, or what the brand is known for when it’s at its best).
These three areas are essential for awareness (the bedrock of organization wide transformation), but what do CX efforts look like when attempting to involve different areas of your organization? The fact is that getting c-suite buy-in for your CX program is going to look completely different from engaging your front of line employees. Where the c-suite and leadership may assess the three C’s in the boardroom, there needs to be another approach for the breakroom.
Here are four tips to inspire and engage employees in your CX program starting in the breakroom:
1. Hire and Retain Customer Centric Talent
Placing customer experience at front-of-mind starts at the very beginning of the employee journey. Make sure that your hiring process assesses candidates based on their ability to provide the kind of positive experiences your company strives for. If you make it obvious from the start that your company culture emphasizes the value of your customers, your employees will know that they have to keep up with the needs of the customer in order to meet their job requirements.
There is a misconception around the value of industry experience vs. customer centric attributes when evaluating candidates. Those brands that are winning in customer experience have recruited beyond the talent pool in their particular industries and have sought after individuals who have the right mix of personality characteristics and skills; regardless of the their industry of origin.
2. Implement Consistent Rituals
Make sure to put specific steps and processes in place for employees to follow in specific customer interactions. This keeps your employees from feeling caught off guard and can also increase their confidence in customer-facing situations. Additionally, this creates a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, which sets a standard of customer service upon which your customers can depend (and share with their friends).
3. Share Stories
When customers share an exceptional experience they had with one of your employees, pass it on! Institute a method for these exemplary staff members to be showcased, such as dedicating time in every team meeting to mention that person or posting those stories in the breakroom itself. This not only rewards the employee for their hard work, but it also inspires other employees to strive for the same excellence. Even more so, it takes your customer experience policies out of the employee handbook and into an everyday context that is more relatable for your employees.
4. Provide the Right Incentives
With the right incentives in place, you can go beyond just a pat on the back and provide tangible benefits for employees that are consistent CX allstars. A mistake that many organizations make is linking CX metrics to incentives (e.g. bonus for reaching an NPS target) rather than behaviors. Human nature suggests that individuals respond better to rewards based on things they can control (in this case, the way they act with customers) vs. a number which may be influenced by a number of exogenous factors.
A great example comes from one of our clients. They approached incentives by creating a central system in which employees can receive points for embodying their company’s CX emphasis. These points can then be cashed for a plethora of prizes. Additionally, employees can recognize each other, adding to company comradery.
When you make inspiring your front-line employees a priority, you are powering your greatest tool in the the quest for CX excellence. Implementing these four tips into your company culture can contribute to morale, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, your bottom line.
To learn more about the importance of employee engagement, check out the InMoment eBook, “Understanding the Power of Employee Engagement: The Employee-Customer Equation.”