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A great customer experience (CX) begins with an engaged, empowered, and inspired employee. Without them, it’s impossible to ensure that customers are experiencing your brand as you intended. When employees are engaged, they are far more likely to ensure customers are satisfied with your products or services — because they’re able to deliver great things. And consistent customer engagement is the gateway to maintaining your customer relationships throughout their lifetime.
Here are a few tips leaders can use to better manage their teams, boost employee engagement and provide great experiences for their customers.
Related: Happy Employees Create Happy Customers
1. Create a customer-centric culture
A customer-centric culture helps employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, leading to higher customer satisfaction. A customer-centric culture focuses on the needs and wants of customers. It involves ensuring that your employees are involved in decisions impacting the company’s processes, procedures and interactions with customers. Ensuring that you have this type of environment can help you better understand how to improve your customer service strategy for long-term success.
2. Avoid tunnel vision
There is no one else who can see the whole picture except for you. You know your business inside and out, and you’ve got a clear vision of what it needs to be successful.
It doesn’t mean, however, that you should go it alone.
In fact, when it comes to customer experience, you need all hands on deck —including your employees’ hands!
When you rely too much on your perspective as the owner or manager of a business, you’re at risk for tunnel vision — seeing things only from your perspective and not considering other perspectives or options. That’s bad for the customer experience because you miss many opportunities to improve it.
When employees are engaged with their jobs and invested in the company’s success, they have valuable insight into how customers interact with products or services in real life and how they can improve those interactions. They also have access to information about what customers want that you may not even know exists! When they share this knowledge with you and collaborate, you’ll get better results than ever before.
3. Measure and reward the right things
A great customer experience begins with great employee engagement and management.
That’s why my team and I measure and reward the right things — not just sales but also customer satisfaction.
We do this by having all our employees work together in a small, open office environment so they can ask questions and help each other out. We don’t have managers or supervisors — everyone is on the same level, so there are no barriers to information sharing.
It’s not just about keeping up with the latest technology; it’s about ensuring everyone in the company understands how their actions affect customers’ experiences.
Related: 7 Excellent Reasons to Focus on Employee Engagement
4. Avoid silos
The best way to ensure a great customer experience is to avoid silos.
Silos are when departments or people don’t communicate with one another, so you might be missing out on important information. If your team is siloed, they’ll have trouble communicating with customers. Without communication, there’s no teamwork; without teamwork, there’s no CX.
To avoid silos in your company and keep your employees engaged with one another and their work, ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. You can create an employee engagement strategy that includes regular meetings where employees can discuss new ideas for improving your customer experience. You could also try using gamification techniques like badges or points as rewards for completing certain tasks within your company’s larger goals.
5. Empower your frontline employees
The front line of your business is the first step in your customer experience. That’s why it’s so important to empower your frontline employees to create a great customer experience.
They’re the ones who greet them, serve them and make sure they have what they need to be happy. They’re often the only people you meet when you walk into a store or restaurant. And even though they may not be able to influence every interaction with a customer, they can certainly make an impact on some of them.
If you want to make sure that your customers are getting the best possible experience, you need to make sure your employees are empowered and encouraged to do their best work. This doesn’t mean that you should constantly micromanage them — it just means that you should give them room to be creative and develop their skills as they get to know your company better.
Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your Company
6. Be open to collaboration and innovation
The best CX is built on a foundation of employee engagement, so it’s important to give your employees the freedom to collaborate and innovate.
When employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, they’ll go above and beyond for their customers. And when they do, you’ll see the results in happier customers, higher sales and more loyal clients.
With everyone in your company striving toward the same goal, you can create a better customer experience. If a business lacks a culture of employee engagement and great management, it is almost inevitable that its customers won’t get the high level of service and support they deserve. Customers will likely never know about internal issues but will be presented with a disappointing experience that may cost a company future business opportunities.