Fish and chips, Mickey and Minnie, Ant and Dec, some things just belong together and this is how we need to start thinking about customer and employee engagement.
Engaging Your Frontline
This concept centres around the idea that in order to truly engage customers as a company, those within it specifically at your frontline, must be just as engaged. Frontline employees who are truly invested in and working towards a shared customer-centric culture will feel empowered to want to go that extra mile for customers, will be more successful in building meaningful relationships with them and, ultimately, will keep customers more engaged.
Frontline employees communicate with customers every day and therefore the way that they view customers will have a direct impact on the way your brand is seen. Employees that lack engagement are less likely to build this vital rapport with customers as their interest may not go beyond an initial interaction level.
Enable to Engage
One issue with frontline engagement raised time and time again is the inability of the frontline to adequately react and respond to customer needs and feedback. Both technological and corporate limitations are the biggest issues here, with frontline employees not being able to solve problems because their systems simply don’t allow them to, or that they don’t have a particular clearing to do so within the business. Invest in the right technology or simply have more of a functional system in relation to employee freedom in order to avoid this issue.
Providing your frontline with the ability to go that extra mile for customers on a practical level, in turn, makes them much more likely to be want to do so. Enablement creates empowerment.
Having said this, it’s not only the frontline that need to be engaged in order for this cycle to work effectively. From the boardroom to the frontline, every level of a business must be immersed in a strong customer-centric culture in order to create successful engagement.
Gallup recently suggested that customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged. Engaged employees mean more effective execution of customer-centric strategies and reduced churn rates as customers feel that they are being paid real attention. Business outputs are increased as a result of company-wide engagement with everyone working towards a shared goal regardless of individual aims.
Creating a Dialogue
It’s no longer enough to be claiming that you are engaging your customers simply by reaching out to them. Companies are communicating with their customers more than ever and so you need to go beyond this in order to truly engage them. An outdated Q&A simply won’t cut the mustard, effective customer engagement is all about creating a meaningful dialogue between your company and your customer.
This is about more than just asking customers a question, it’s about using feedback as a starting point to shape and move strategy forwards. Customers are consistently engaged as it is their feedback providing a direction to strategy and employees remain engaged as it is the relationship they’ve built with customers that is creating this dialogue.
The Engagement Cycle
Customer and employee engagement are two sides of the same coin, Moira Clark describes the relationship between these two elements saying ‘customer engagement will never happen if you don’t do the same for your employees, they go hand in hand’.
Engaged customers are more likely to leave useful and in-depth feedback. This can then be used to engage employees, offering comments and opinions specific to employees which provide them with something specific to work on. Engaged employees, in turn, continue to engage customers as they are more likely to want to go that extra mile. It is a cycle of engagement.
To explore engagement further check out our latest guide: Raveolution Resolutions. The guide pulls together all of the hot topics and insights captured from Raveolution 2016, helping you to adopt the latest customer engagement tactics to become a true CX rockstar.