In the customer experience management (CXM) industry, practitioners focus the bulk of their attention on gaining new customers. In today’s world, acquisition strategies are often focused on digital marketing efforts, using pixels and cookies to track consumers and push product in front of them as frequently as possible.
While gaining new customers is, obviously, a critical element in a thriving business plan, isn’t customer retention and loyalty also equally essential? Unfortunately for many brands, it is far more difficult to retain customers over time than it is to fish for new ones.
While conversations about customer loyalty have been around for ages, I have to believe the CXM industry will soon be focusing much more on customer loyalty. And, even more importantly, an emphasis on the intersection between customer loyalty and the engaged employee will begin to develop. This emphasis, also known as the employee experience (EX), includes employees’ hiring, training, and performance experience as a whole. From the moment they apply for a position, to their first interactions with customers, and beyond, this process is incredibly valuable.The Link Between EX and CXM Is the Key
You might be familiar with the Tempkin Group’s 6 Laws of Customer Experience. This simple infographic gives great insight into some of the most critical parts of a successful customer experience strategy, written in the form of six “laws.” In particular, one of these laws has captured my attention, and I feel passionately that the CXM industry as a whole is overlooking its impact. Interestingly, it relates directly to engaged employees and the employee experience.
Those of these laws is:
#4: Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers
We have been talking about how both current and prospective customers look to family, friends, peers, and to the web to get information about brands and products. After all, the online reputation management and influencer marketing fields have been thriving for years now. But, the way both current and prospective customers are treated by a brand’s employees is absolutely critical to obtaining and retaining their business. So how is it that today’s businesses seem to be sweeping this little fact under the rug so much of the time?
Sure, most companies have Human Resources and IT Departments that are responsible for some pieces of this. And, sure, it’s vital to spend a significant amount of time and effort to make sure your employees are equipped with the proper resources to perform the best they can. But even if you provide your employees with the right tools, they are not always going to put in the best effort when it comes to dealing with clients. This is where the concept of the engaged employee becomes most important.The Value of the Engaged Employee
The engaged employee, loosely defined, is an individual who exceeds expectations in their area of expertise. They’ll act as a loyal, enthusiastic ambassador for your brand. And, they may be the single touch point in the customer experience with the greatest influence on customer loyalty.
In my opinion, it is this intersection between the engaged employee and their interactions with the customer that makes or breaks a customer’s experience. This too, is where I intend to focus a great deal of my attention and emphasis this coming year.Stay tuned for more blog posts regarding employee engagement. And tell us in the comments below: Do you see the need to consider employee engagement in the customer experience strategy? Where do you stand?