Losing a single customer means losing anything between 5-6 times the current annual revenue of that customer, according to Forrester Research. It makes sense to invest in an improved customer experience.
But, as regular readers of The Shift already know, delivering improved experiences for customers starts with employees who care.
CX is rooted in EX.
How do you build a culture that nurtures empathy? How do you motivate employees effectively? And retain them to pass on the right behaviours for your company?
Just as offering price discounts is an expensive and ineffective way to keep customers beyond the short term, offering money on its own won’t keep employees customer-focused beyond payday.
In fact, more often than not, it’s purpose and a lack thereof that makes an employee walk away.
People leave jobs where they don’t matter, they can’t effect a difference, their hands are tied or where they’re unable to solve customer problems in a way that makes sense.
If your employees don't understand your customer strategy and can’t consistently deliver on it day-to-day, they’ll get frustrated with bureaucracy that is devoid of this kind of personal meaning.
You’re actively jeopardising your customer base. Start by sharing customer stories.
Stories specifically communicate at the level of meaning and purpose. They create a deeper understanding of the transferable elements of a particular customer challenge and they show the kinds of right (or wrong) behaviours that will resolve the challenge. They allow room for employees to see themselves playing a role in the story; what would I do? How can I step in and do the same?
But don’t limit your empathy-building to customer stories. There are many more ways you can connect people to their purpose in order for them to do their best work.
To help, we’ve put together a quick guide that will start the conversation about what your people need in order to grow and contribute meaningfully:
Of course, improving Employee Experience isn’t a blanket approach. Particular teams and some individuals may need a more tailored journey, and on-the-ground organisational specialists should be employed to diagnose and address embedded empathy gaps.
But if you’ve started on your Employee Experience Journey and you want to see tangible ROI, use empathy to build empathy. Organise a listening tour and sit down with your teams to find out what’s truly important to them and what’s getting in their way of delivering real customer improvements.
Then— a critical and often overlooked step —bring everyone together to reflect and create together.
If you want your employees to listen to your customers, you need to model the right behaviours. Every time we conduct this type of exercise for our clients, without exception, we see sharing, connection, engagement and a genuine spark of energy.
And that’s what the customer’s looking for.