Power to the People (who deliver your CX)
Founder & CEO
August 02, 2018
Employee engagement is the key to mastering customer experience but according to the Tempkin Group’s most recent report, we’re not very good at it (Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity 2018). So what can we do to change? Simply put, we need to focus on how we empower our people to deliver our customer experience. That’s where the rubber hits the road. You can have the best data and strategy in the world but if your people aren’t empowered and engaged to deliver, your operation will never change. In this article, I have mapped a journey to independence that will set your people free, refocusing them on delivering your brand, achieving your mission and unleashing your vision in every customer interaction they have. It’s quite simple really. Just a shift in perspective. Let’s take it step-by-step.
How do your people learn what to do?
Employees are on-boarded, trained and kept current through a wide variety of tactics. A lot of companies use presentations and videos to share direction. Others build systems and use software to guide their employees’ actions. I also see a lot of manuals, intranets, and meetings. In every company I’ve been inside, leaders use a combination of these tactics to deliver the direction they are providing their employees. Getting information from multiple sources isn’t the easiest solution from the employee’s perspective. As an employee, you want to know what you’re expected to do plain and simple. If it’s not perfectly clear what is expected of you, how can you possibly deliver with confidence?
How clear is your CX direction?
Employees can’t just be trained once and then left on their own to figure things out. Training is an ongoing process to keep everyone current on the latest direction. What percentage of your team is current on your latest customer experience direction? That’s an extremely important metric. Anything less than 100% diminishes your ability to produce the outcomes you desire. To achieve and sustain 100% current, there are 3 things you need to consider: the quality, accessibility and agility of your CX direction.
Focus first on quality
Think about the information your employees need to perform their roles in the delivery of your customer experience. How efficient and engaging is your current delivery of that information? That critical information needs to provide step-by-step direction that leaves absolutely zero doubt of what they need to do and what success looks like. Remove all of the information that isn’t necessary. Every piece of information removed makes the content easier to consume and demonstrates to employees how much you value their time.
Make it accessible
As you consider how you can improve your direction, you also need to think about how your employees will access the direction. What’s the easiest way for them to access it? When and where might they need it? They’ll want to be able to reference it quickly so they can get back to what they were doing. It can’t be a chore to find this information or people won’t use it. To ensure that 100% of employees are current on your CX direction, they must have real-time access to it when and where they need it.
Empower the people to improve it
Who better to evaluate your CX direction than the people that need to use it? Incentivize them to share their feedback and ideas. Engage them to help you improve the quality of the direction to make sure everyone is getting exactly what they need. Ask them how the direction you are providing could be more useful to them. Your culture will evolve to an environment in which your employees will help improve your direction forward based on their interactions with your customers.
Change direction with ease
Once every employee can access your CX direction easily and is engaged with improving it, you will experience the true power of independence. You won’t have to develop a communications plan to mobilize and prepare the troops for change anymore. They’re already mobilized. Simply make a change and notify everyone. Take all of the effort out of the change process. By embedding a mechanism for change into your culture, you’ll help your organization get used to regular changes. The more you do it, the better you get and before long, you’ll be the most agile organization in your industry. To quote Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
You say you want a revolution?
Everyone is talking about change. But what can we actually do to not just move the needle but change the game? Are you looking for incremental improvement or do you want your company to think and act differently? If you continue to do the same things, you can’t expect different results. At the end of the day, we’re talking about our customers’ experience and the people who deliver it. With a simple shift in focus onto how we empower our people to deliver our customer experience, we can literally change how people experience our world.