Look after your staff and they’ll look after your customers

October 8, 2015

As part of National Customer Service Week, we’ve been exploring how great customer service can lead to better customer experiences. We’ve shared how effectively dealing with customer complaints can breed loyalty, why it’s essential to know your customer inside and out and how to guarantee a return on your investment.

Today, we’re looking at why staff engagement is essential to delivering fantastic experiences everyday.

For years we’ve been told to put the customer first – make customers your number one priority and the rest will look after itself.

But what if we didn’t? What if we put staff at the heart of everything we do? Instead of building a customer-centric culture, businesses could build a culture of high staff engagement. After all, look after your staff in the right way and you can almost guarantee that your staff will go above and beyond to look after your customers.

Staff engagement is key to the success of any Voice of the Customer programme; without engaging with staff, making any changes or improvements to your business – both on the frontline and at a strategic level – will mean a lot of hard work.

A Voice of the Customer solution is a way of working, not just a survey

Research is changing.

Gone are the days of backwards looking, centrally owned research; instead, with real-time customer feedback alerts and sharing of results, feedback and insight is now something that all staff can – and should – engage with.

Customer feedback is a key tool in empowering your staff to better serve your customers; by understanding a customer’s wants, needs and expectations, your staff can deliver outstanding experiences to each and every one of your customers.

Step-by-step plan for success

Staff 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 five years, we’ve got first-hand experience on how to engage with staff. By getting to know businesses and understanding the challenges they might face, we’re able to build bespoke customer engagement plans to ensure that the launch of your eDigitalResearch Voice of the Customer programme is a resounding success.

But there are some simple steps that all brands and businesses must follow when they introduce changes new ways of working to their business, including Customer Experience Management programmes.

Firstly, something that looks and feels familiar is much more likely to be trusted by both staff and customers than something that has a distinct ‘’outsider’ feel. By designing each and every part of your programme – from the survey itself all the way through to reporting – to match your brand guidelines, means that your feedback programme is authentic to your staff and brand.

The thought of customer’s feeding back on individual experiences can be daunting for some. It’s important that staff understand that a Voice of the Customer tool is there to empower them to perform, not watch over them and highlight when something goes wrong.

As part of our Voice of the Customer programmes, we work with clients to run regular engagement workshops including everyone from key stakeholders to frontline staff so that programmes are engrained into every corner of the business – everyone must understand the importance of feedback and the key role it plays in delivering great experiences.

It’s also why we encourage clients to celebrate success with staff. Integrating results into bonus schemes or highlighting when someone’s done a fantastic job is a great way of building trust and authenticity around the programme, as well as boosting motivation. However, it’s not just about celebrating high performers; we also encourage our clients to celebrate most improved – those branches, departments or staff who are developing their service to compete with your top performers.

Involving your staff in the feedback process

The great thing about flexible Voice of the Customer systems is the ability to turn the tables and ask, not only your customers, but your staff how they feel you’re performing as a business.

We encourage our clients to test the waters regularly with staff to find out what they think could be improved. Just like a customer feedback survey, it’s a great way to gather ideas, queries and concerns to improve your business from the outside in.