When Things Go Wrong: How to Rescue the Customer Experience

Rescuing the customer experience doesn’t demand a great deal of heavy-lifting; it just requires strategic integration.

Customer with a sad face

Customer service and employee engagement can no longer be treated as separate domains. Employees have always been the key to good customer service, but in today’s world of increased transparency and multiple customer touch points, employees have more access and visibility to the customer than ever before.

Employees must be trained effectively in all facets of communications, and they must learn to plan accurately and anticipate customer needs while managing the quality of customer service regardless of the communication channel.

In today’s customer experience-driven world, superior customer service depends on engaged, well trained and prepared employees. Without this, internal teams cannot provide the best customer service possible nor will they be able to keep up with their customers’ complex and evolving needs.

The divide between employee engagement and excellent customer service widens as consumers reach for the communication channels most convenient to them, whether it is through email, voice, social media or virtual chat. No matter how they choose to communicate, customers will continue to expect a consistent experience that treats them reasonably and efficiently.

In turn, it is clear that if employees don’t have the tools to succeed, they will have a difficult time meeting the increasingly complex demands of customers. In such cases, employee engagement erodes along with the customer experience.

In order to solve for this, organizations need to understand the holistic customer experience. Customer experience and employee engagement must not be treated as two separate disciplines that put customer service and operational efficiency into silos. This ultimately leads to the “vicious circles” described in the concept of Total Quality Management. Neither focus is wrong, but it can lead to disharmony within internal teams.

The solution is to tap into today’s intelligent tools that manage internal processes to provide a positive customer experience. They include:

• reporting and analytical programs
• data mining strategies
• speech/text analytics capabilities.

These tools can be used on the customer experience side to understand both the customer journey and experience. On the employee engagement side, these same tools can drive improvements in processes, training and recognition. In essence, when both customer experience and employee engagement are considered a total package, managers are then able to ask themselves:

• How are we ensuring that there isn’t an over emphasis on one side or the other?
• How are we making sure that the two sides of the customer service process are considered at the same time?
• What vicious circles are our current practices reinforcing and what virtuous circles could we create?

Looking at customer experience and employee engagement holistically can help bring benefits to your internal team’s efficiency but most importantly, it can also improve overall customer satisfaction.

Rescuing the customer experience doesn’t demand a great deal of heavy-lifting; it just requires strategic integration of both internal and external communications with a little help from today’s best analytics, data and speech/text tools to ensure needs are met on both sides. In essence, when your employees are informed, happy and engaged, it is likely that your customers will be too.

About the Author

Brendan Dykes is a Sr. Principal Business Consultant at Genesys. Brendan has over 25 years of experience in the customer services environment and is an expert in the selection, deployment and use of customer contact management technology. He came to Genesys in 2007 after several years with Orange UK, now EE. Brendan is a graduate of the University of the West of England.

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