It’s no secret that the race to digital adoption has greatly benefited consumers. Companies are proudly sharing their digital touchpoints and success stories, with a renewed focus on creating the very best customer experiences (CX). That’s great news for consumers everywhere, but businesses have an additional layer of responsibility to make sure their employees, the people turning this goal into reality, are not forgotten.
As a company’s ‘internal customers’, employees are just as powerful and relevant to your success. In fact, a study by KPMG shows businesses that invest in EX are four times more profitable than those that don’t. In the same way we champion great customer relationships, a new kind of EX is the way forward to help employees reach their full potential — one that is personal, relevant, and responsive.
After all, when your people are happy, they’re more likely to deliver the best interactions for your customers, creating a better experience for everyone.
Understanding the landscape of employee experience today
The pandemic has brought about a huge shift in the meaning of ‘good’ EX. With more teams working remotely, companies must now pay closer attention to their employees, finding innovative ways to improve visibility, gather feedback, and encourage engagement.
In Singapore, our Zendesk CX Trends 2021 report found 77 per cent of employees on support teams feel overwhelmed by unprecedented change. As we navigate new ways of working, seamless communication and flexibility must stand at the core of great EX, allowing everyone across the organisation to respond to business challenges and employee needs with agility.
In response to volatility, leaders must put in place the right processes and culture to help their teams feel connected, supported, and included, so that they can be empowered to do their best work.
Always respond with empathy
Empathy sits at the heart of any healthy relationship, and building up great EX starts with understanding and responding to the needs of your people. More than a year into the pandemic, we still can’t fully claim ‘business-as-normal’ but we have stepped up to the challenge of ‘business-as-adaptable’.
We’ve become better at dealing with changes and uncertainties, and more comfortable with springing into action to respond to new needs and the same flexibility needs to extend to the workplace. There must be a willingness for leaders to listen with compassion, communicate with honesty, and actively work to remove barriers that might stop employees from getting help.
Our research shows that more than half (57 per cent) of agents in Singapore think a supportive environment is the most important factor in doing their job well.
That’s over half of a workforce who are at risk of losing motivation and belief in the company’s goals if they don’t feel heard and understood. Businesses would be remiss to ignore the importance of empathy when it comes to building up a strong, resilient, and productive workforce.
Seek to empower with technology
If it wasn’t already clear, the two experiences—employee and customer—are tightly linked. When employees have the right tools to succeed, they can keep better track of performance indicators, stay connected with colleagues, and feel supported by their companies.
Yet, our research shows that despite the shift to remote work, 49 per cent of agents don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home.
Companies that want to drive great customer experiences must first think about investing in technological tools to support their people and the ongoing health of the business.
Internally, leveraging a flexible, easy-to-use portal for communication and collaboration, such as an internal help desk, will help employees find the resources they need. When facing consumers, employees must also be equipped to provide customers the same stellar support they receive from their own companies.
Together, these tools can help employees communicate with each other as well as engage customers across various channels, including messaging, chat, email, and phone, improving the overall experience for everyone.
To all businesses aiming to do the best by their customers, take a moment to remember that your employees will always be the greatest champions of your brand.
If you are serious about creating the best customer experiences, start by looking within and making sure you have the right focus on caring for your own internal customers.
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