Industry expert Natalie Calvert helps ambitious leaders powerfully engage customers and employees in a way that impacts the bottom line. Her clients have included organisations of all sizes, including some of the world’s largest brands: O2, Royal Mail, Audi, LEGO, M&S and BT. She is also a board advisor and judge for the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards.
In this guest post, she plots a smarter route to better customer experiences and explains how contact centres can develop a winning CX…
The contact centre is at the heart of the digital revolution because it is responsible for managing customer interactions through various channels. That means your contact centre has to be at the forefront of a modern human, streamlined and technology-driven customer experience.
In fact, a new role is rapidly developing for contact centre advisors, which involves managing more complex customer needs, dealing with more emotive conversations, and doing so in faster and smarter ways than ever before.
In the omnichannel contact centre – one that combines human and digital contact channels – bringing together customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) is crucial to business success.
What makes a successful contact centre experience?
Most leaders concur with the adage that “happy staff and happy customers go hand in hand”. Yet, in reality, many companies run two tracks and don’t reap the rewards of a holistic strategy. CX and EX are, increasingly, highly dependent on one another and have become totally interconnected.
Despite substantial investments in customer experience initiatives and employee engagement programmes, contact centres still face significant issues related to customer satisfaction, retention, recruitment, absenteeism, and employee turnover. Something must be wrong.
Turning this around and creating sustainable success is contingent on aligning customer and employee experiences.
To do this you need to focus on the three key areas to win with CX:
1. (Re)Define your customer contact centre strategy
The best contact centres are those that have a truly holistic approach to customer service. The first step in developing your customer contact centre strategy is (re)-defining it.
Contact centres were transformed overnight by the pandemic, and many employees now work from home in a variety of hybrid models. It’s time to redefine strategy considering new working methods, using redesigned processes, technologies, team dynamics and advanced skilling requirements.
A customer contact centre strategy which includes a customer contact business plan, target operating model (TOM), and customer experience model (CEM) alongside your CX employee experience (CXEE) plan will guarantee your success, streamline your strategy and produce better results.
Ensuring that each component cleverly integrates customer experience and employee experience alongside the company’s strategy will drive the best possible outcomes for customers and employees.
2. Be your customers’ hero
Customers want to experience the ‘hero effect’ when buying your products or services. Be their hero by delivering an outstanding experience!
Employees that do the right thing, genuinely care, go the extra mile and champion the customer are Customer Heroes. They also have the mindset and skills to turn detractors into promoters, and complainers into advocates. As a result, they build loyalty, increase customer satisfaction and grow business value.
Customer heroes are highly engaged and happy, and so are their customers.
Having employees who are engaged provides companies with 89% greater customer satisfaction and 50% higher customer loyalty than companies with disengaged employees (source: Korn Ferry/Hay Group).
Ask yourself how you and your fellow leaders can develop your employees into Customer Heroes.
- • Do you have a customer-focused mission and vision that guides your entire organisation?
- • Is your customer-focused mission being fulfilled by giving employees a voice and allowing them to make decisions?
- • Do you have customer service champions and brand ambassadors in each department who drive the customer mission?
- • Do you understand what your customers want from you to be their hero, and how you can deliver it?
- • Do you understand the mindset and skills that are required from your CX frontline and their leaders?
- • Always remember that customer centric organisations are 20%+ more profitable (source Forbes).
- • Overall, know that developing your employees into Customer Heroes will result in more satisfied customers and employees.
3. CX employee community
Build a strong CX employee community by fostering collaboration, communication, and customer centricity among employees. This will drive customer-focused outcomes and make your organisation more effective – and your staff happier.
Nearly three quarters of employees say that better communication would increase their productivity at work. Team huddles are one of the most effective ways to build winning CX teams by allowing groups to collaborate on ideas, disseminate information, and focus on customer centricity. The key here is ensuring leaders have the skills and tools in place for inspiring and effective hybrid team huddles.
Creating a CX employee community with the customer at its heart will not only improve customer experience but also transform employee experience.
In summary, the experience economy and the digital era are changing our lives in ways never seen. Contact centres are facing significant challenges to deliver exceptional experiences, tailored to meet the expectations of the digital age. It is time to meet those expectations head on. Become your customers’ hero, redefine your customer contact centre strategy and grow your CX employee community. CX+EX connects everything. Don’t forget that when you align the stars, the magic begins…
Transform your CX and EX with MaxContact’s customer engagement software, giving customers and employees an unrivalled digital, in-person and omnichannel contact experience. Contact us to find out more.