As a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies To Work For, we know how important it is involve staff in your business and create a strong workplace culture – look after your staff and they’ll often look after your customers. Here Chief Development Officer Derek Eccleston explores just some of the ways you can engage with your employees to create a top place to work and excel your customer experience.
Staff engagement is key to the success of any Voice of the Customer programme – without engaging with staff, introducing changes and improvements to your business – both on the frontline and at a strategic level – will mean a lot of hard work.
Add to this that listening to staff and giving employees a voice is proven to reduce staff turnover, lower costs and create a strong culture where people will want to come and work, engaging with your workforce is more important than ever.
But employee engagement can often be hard to come by. Having achieved more in staff engagement than any other Voice of the Customer provider in the past six years with our phenomenal workplace engagement record, we’ve got first-hand experience of how to involve staff in your business
1. Listen to your employees
Listening to your staff is as important as listening to customers – in fact, we’d almost argue it’s more important. An engaged and motivated workforce is at the heart of any successful business – you can listen and interpret your customers all day long but if your staff and frontline teams aren’t engaged in your business, they’ll not going implement the steps needed to delight customers.
At eDigitalResearch (edr), we’re lucky and have direct access to our flexible feedback tool which we utilise across the year to listen to our staff. We regularly ask employees to complete an anonymous survey to tell us what they love about working at eDigitalResearch (edr) but also what they’d like to see improved. Results and insights are shared at interactive sessions both company-wide and within teams so that staff have an opportunity to feed into any necessary developments. We also capture more on-going, detailed feedback on specific aspects – such as post-training – to make sure that key elements of our culture are continuously working for our staff.
The fact that we already do this with our own staff means we’re experts at creating similar programmes for our clients – we’re run both company-wide and departmental feedback programmes for a lot organisations, as well as award-winning employee communities so that our clients staff can be as happy at work as our own.
2. Reward excellence
Recognising hard work and a job well done is essential to driving on-going motivation and commitment.
But staff rewards needn’t be big, grand gestures – often the most simple of ‘thank-you’s’ can go a long way. We’ve worked with a number of our clients on building staff recognition into their wider Customer Experience Management programmes – from creative small gestures to incorporating into existing bonus schemes.
At eDigitalResearch (edr), we operate a peer-to-peer recognition scheme where all employees can nominate a member of staff for going above and beyond the call of duty. But for many bigger organisations, recognition is often reliant on customers sharing their experiences with staff members – it’s why it’s essential to not only give customers an engaging and optimised way to share feedback (good and bad) but to also have in place an intelligent yet real-time way of sharing results with the right people at the right time so that staff get the recognition they deserve.
3. Involve staff from the get go
Introducing new ways of working – such as a company-wide Voice of the Customer programme – can be difficult without the right engagement strategy in place. By not being open, honest and involving all staff from the very beginning, Customer Experience Management solutions could be seen as a burden and intrusive rather than the powerful tool it really is to help all staff deliver even better service and experience.
At eDigitalResearch (edr), we don’t offer off-the-shelf solutions which means we can work with businesses to create a tool that’s ideally suited for them and their employees – from head office all the way through to frontline staff. It’s why we’ll ask you to involve staff from roles across your business to develop and design a Voice of the Customer programme that suits everyone’s wants and needs – from the delivery of alerts and reports to dashboard interfaces and views.
4. Give your programme a name and identity
Giving a Customer Experience Management programme a name helps to create internal recognition for what you’re trying to achieve – and building an internal, recognised brand with a separate identity and persona will help build trust and confidence in your new programme. We find this part especially important when we’re working with clients who are looking to replace a failing existing programme.
At eDigitalResearch (edr), we’ve helped launch a number of successful internal Voice of the Customer brands. With the skills and expertise of our internal design team, we’ve built entire programme identities, using a range of engagement techniques – from logos to fun videos – so that staff from top to bottom can embrace new ways of working.
5. Share best practice and ways of working
With often thousands of staff and customers, businesses aren’t always going to get it right 100 per cent of the time. Inevitably, there will be occasions or areas of the business that might need a little helping hand.
It’s why it’s so important and essential to share success and best practice around the business – from one-on-one staff mentoring for those members of the team that might not be performing to regular share sessions across departments, it’s important to shout about what people are doing right and where improvements could be made to ensure that your customer experience is the very best it can be.