Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting Employee Buy-In for Your #CX Transformation

Image courtesy of Todd Quakenbush/Unsplash
What tools can you use to facilitate employee buy-in for your customer experience improvement efforts?

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a webinar with ZenDesk on the seven steps to customer experience heaven. A question posed by one of the audience members was about what tools are available to facilitate employee buy-in for your customer experience initiative.

I think this is a great question because, as you know by now, the employee experience drives the customer experience. Employees who are happy in their roles with the company will translate that happiness into delivering a great experience for customers. How do they get to that point? There are several factors/tools, no doubt, not the least of which is hiring the right people. Once you've got the right people on staff, what tools can you use to ensure they are on board with delivering a great customer experience?

I knew I had written several blog posts that could easily answer the question. Here are my recommendations for tools to gain employee buy-in.

1. Provide a clear line of sight for employees to the target: customers. When employees know how their contributions matter, when they know how what they do impacts the customer experience, that makes all the difference in the world. In this post, I provide 6 Tools to Create a Clear Line of Sight for Employees. If you don't read another post I recommend here, this one will provide you with the tools you need to get employee buy-in.

2. Use one of the most powerful customer experience training tools at your disposal: the customer journey map. It provides clarity in a lot of ways, including those mentioned in #1. Journey maps help the organization be more customer-focused and customer-centric, understand the customer and his interactions with your organization, align around a common cause, speak a universal language (customer), break down silos, achieve a single view of the customer, and improve the customer experience. In this post, I share details about Your Most Important #CX Training Tool.

3. Involve employees in customer experience design and improvement rather than imposing or forcing it on them. Here’s a post I wrote about Kotter’s change management model that might give you some additional ideas: 8 Steps for Customer Experience Change Management.

4. Empower employees to deliver the experience you expect them to deliver. In this post, I share 11 ideas on how Employee Empowerment involves employees rather than alienates them. When we unleash employee empowerment, we set employees on the path to deliver the experience you expect them to deliver.

5. And finally, as I already alluded to, the employee experience itself is important. Putting employees first and ensuring they have a great experience will translate to a great customer and pay returns in spades. In my post Does "Employees More First" Disparage Customers?, I share the results of putting employees more first and prescribe some ways to ensure they have a great experience.

If you've got other tips or suggestions, please share them in the comments. You probably uncovered the most important tool of all in #1: communication.

Research indicates that employees have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company. -Zig Ziglar


6 comments:

  1. I’d agree Annette that communication and involvement are the critical factors. We’ve seen this on a number of projects for organisations such as healthcare organization NHS BSA in the UK. Agents were involved in building and naming its knowledge management system (which they called Sherlock), meaning that they were bought into it and therefore have become keen users of the system after it went live. More in this Eptica blog post at http://eptica.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/how-agent-ux-drives-a-better-customer-experience/

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    1. Thanks, Pauline... and thanks for sharing that post here, too.

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  2. Hi Annette,
    Seeing the question 'what tools are available to facilitate employee buy-in for your customer experience initiative' implies that that company hasn't involved it's employees in their CX design initiative and that's a mistake.

    As you rightly point out in your post employees should be involved at all stages of designing a company's CX.

    Adrian

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  3. Annette, I'm not so sure we need tools to help employees deliver a great service, maybe it is simply about removing the blocks that we, as managers, put in the way of them delivering that great service.

    Maybe it is the managers that need the tools, not the employees.

    So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work ~ Peter F. Drucker

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    1. Love that Drucker quote. You may just be on to something.

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