By Shep Hyken

Most everyone in the business world is familiar with the idea of customer experience (CX). And as popular as CX is, there’s a somewhat new concept that has been coming on strong for the past five years, and that’s the employee experience (EX). With the employment issues of the past two years, EX is as important, maybe even more so, than CX. You can’t have a consistent and predictable CX without an EX to support it. 

 Most businesses today use technology to meet their customers’ needs. This comes in the form of streamlining processes, self-service customer support solutions and more. But what about the employees’ needs? Do we make that same effort for our employees? Do we invest in technology and processes that make it easy for employees?  

I had a chance to learn from one of my clients, Mitel, about this very topic. Mitel provides a sophisticated, custom communications network that helps businesses connect, collaborate and take care of customers. The big takeaway is that the employee experience is a big contributor to the customer experience. Employees must be empowered, they need the right customer information, and the company should invest in processes and tools to make their jobs easier and more effective. Here are three concepts from Mitel, followed by my commentary:   

Customers want to work with empowered employees who know them – For employees to best take care of customers, they must know their customers. Giving them data and information about the customer will help them make good decisions. Make it easy. Provide more than general information. To make the customer feel known, the employee needs to know what the customer bought in the past and how often, if they previously called for support, and more.  

Customers don’t care if the customer support agent is working in an office or from home, but employees do – Creating a seamless call center experience is important to customers. They don’t need to know or really care where they are calling (an agent working from home or in a support center), as long as they get the answers they need and have their problems resolved. But employees do care. To do their job, they must also have a seamless experience. With so many employees working remotely from home, it’s essential for them to feel like they are still a part of the organization. Whether they work from home or in the office, they must feel like they are a part of a team. If they don’t feel connected, all they are doing is working for a paycheck, not the company.   

Invest in the right technology to make employees’ jobs easier – contact center equipped with AI technology can help reduce unnecessary work. A digital solution, such as an AI-powered chatbot, can support the customer and take care of time-wasting processes, allowing employees to help customers with more complicated issues. This makes everyone – both customers and employees – happier. 

The behind-the-scenes way we support customers is far different from the recent past, and even though we use technology, it’s really about the EX. What are we doing to make it easy for employees to do their jobs? Take care of them, and they will better engage with and take of your customers. If you’ve followed my work, then this line should be familiar: What’s happening on the inside with employees is felt on the outside by the customer.