Superior Customer Experience, Only Possible Through Great Employee Experience 

Consumer experiences have always mattered to retailers, and now they are shaping the needs and the desires of employees in the workplace. Just think of ordering food on your phone, researching a holiday gift, or setting up an appointment. A few clicks and you're done.

At work, people expect the same experience—access to tools and services that enable them to act immediately. When faced with a customer problem, employees can’t often connect the internal dots to understand who in the organization—inside or outside their function—can help them make the best decisions that affect a positive customer outcome.

The challenge of delivering a great customer experience doesn’t solely rest in agent training or the latest call center technology. It rests squarely in an organization’s ability to deliver a great employee experience. An experience that removes hurdles that occur at the moment of truth and gives employees what they need to address issues without navigating the org chart, consulting a cheat sheet, or waiting on hold for central support.

The challenge of delivering a great customer experience rests squarely in an organization’s ability to deliver a great employee experience.

Create a Great Employee Experience

Reimagining employee experience is about speed, agility, and responsiveness. The three main characteristics all retailers should consider when evaluating employee satisfaction are:

  • Simplicity - How easily can employees get work done? How many systems do they interact with to find information for customers or themselves? When they’ve requested help or information, how do they have assurance (and transparency!) that someone is actually working on their request? Is information presented in a way that tells the whole story of the situation?

  • Ecosystem - Does every employee understand how their work affects the work of their team, their coworkers, and the entire company? Can they tap into this ecosystem to satisfy a customer request, or fear they are a just link in a long chain of customer call transfers?

  • Rewarding Work - Employees look for work that is both personally rewarding and advances the goals of the company. Do employees feel they can represent the company’s commitment to satisfying every customer, or is the focus on the number of calls they complete in an hour?

In the retail industry, lack of clarity and context can be crushing for an employee standing in front of the customer when a credit card is declined, or delivery of a back-ordered product gets extended. Employees need access to the right tools at the right time to provide the services needed – like redirecting orders, checking stock at another location, or grabbing immediate answers during real-time customer service inquiries.

Provide One Place for Answers

Technology can create a customer-driven employee experience by breaking down silos and improving connections. Centralized access into disparate systems for tracking, monitoring, and managing customer requests from unified systems and data will be made possible by advancements like AI, machine learning, and analytics integrated at the platform level.

Giving employees a lens to see what’s happening across silos (both upstream and downstream) can improve their confidence to deliver a great experience. This trust grows if the information is constantly updated and distributed as needed.

For example, Swarovski saw a 55 percent reduction in service caseloads when they combined all customer communications from phone, email, and chat into a single case. Now that employees have better transparency from a single source, service advisors are more productive, and customer expectations are met faster.

Investing in the employee experience can have a noticeable impact on your customer experience. So next time an irate customer requests help virtually or in-store, your employees are empowered to take the next steps with all the information and resources needed available at their fingertips.

The State of the Retail Industry 2023

JAN 2023