Elaine Coffman, Vice President of Human Resources at Majorel
Three ways employee experiences influence customer service
The great resignation has lit a fire under employees who demand better experiences in the office — and businesses are now reaping the benefits of a more satisfied workforce.
Many of these benefits (like increased productivity) are self-explanatory. They have been rehashed time and time again, but many employers don’t realize the positive impact a happier, more satisfied workforce can have on their customers’ experiences.
The fact is that employee satisfaction and customer service are inextricably linked. It stands to reason that investing in the happiness of a workforce—whether through wellness initiatives, welcoming spaces, opportunities for feedback and advancement, relationship building, fun and meaningful engagement activities, or other means—directly impacts the quality of service representatives provide to customers. After all, employees who feel valued and appreciate their companies’ policies are more likely to act as enthusiastic advocates for those employers’ services, offerings, and brands.
Here are three reasons prioritizing employee satisfaction improves customer experiences:
1. Employees and customers care about brand purpose.
Organizations that want to attract and retain top talent must meet employees where they are. With Gen-Z entering the workforce and Millennials revaluating their approach to work, HR departments are refocusing their efforts to define their companies’ core values to attract employees who will conduct themselves in a manner that aligns with those values. After all, a business’ ethos sits at the heart of day-to-day and long-term operations, guiding decisions throughout the company—including the decisions customer service representatives make when assisting customers.
Centering a brand’s values throughout the HR process can yield myriad benefits when hiring. Still, departments that adopt this approach must understand how perceived misalignments between a company’s stated values and corporate actions can affect employee satisfaction. Employees concerned with a company’s mission will notice discrepancies between stated and actual values within a workplace. Ask employees for ideas and recommendations to show that the business values their point of view and has an interest in putting in the work to better align with its own values.
2. Employee tools and resources can improve customer experience.
Most employers understand the benefits of offering comprehensive training to employees. Doing so ensures that new hires have the skills they need to succeed on day one and continue to grow in their positions. However, building a solid foundation is only the first step in investing in employee success—but it’s where the investment in employee success stops for far too many businesses.
A recent Gallup study found that only one-third of employees feel they have the materials they need to perform their job effectively. Managers need to provide employees with the right tools to succeed. It can also be as simple as providing educational opportunities to employees or investing in new technology that takes unnecessary tasks off employees’ plates or streamlines tasks to improve performance, so employees feel empowered and supported as they work with customers.
3. Your employees determine your company's success.
Running a company is complex—and the road to success can often feel filled with obstacles. However, employers would do well to remember that, at the end of the day, employees are the key to advancing a company. In fact, a 2018 study found that companies with high employee engagement outperform their competitors by 147 percent.
HR professionals, managers, and executives must keep in mind that a company is just an idea without a dedicated, engaged workforce. Employees are the ones who bring that idea to life and push it to new heights.
Better working conditions for employees mean better results for companies
Workers have sent a clear message: the old way of doing things isn’t working anymore. Due to this focus on fulfillment, wellness, and satisfaction, the labor market is now more competitive for employers than it has been in decades. However, it’s not all bad news for employers. Making work better for employees doesn’t just help employees; it helps the business succeed in all arenas. Even better, it allows customers to get the most out of a company’s offerings and services.
For more from Elaine Coffman, check out “Three Things to Know About Hiring Gen Z” on BuiltIn.