W5 is a specialist customer experience consultancy - everything we do is about designing and delivering great CX. We know employees are at the heart of this endeavor as without engaged and motivated workers, Irish industry will never succeed in delivering strong customer experiences. Nevertheless, Irish workers views on customer experience are largely unrecorded so in 2018, W5 undertook our third national survey to fill this gap in understanding.
Employees feel the CX offered could be better - We asked employees, how they would rate the experience that customers receive from the organisation for which they work? The good news is that more workers strongly agree that the CX provided by their organisation is very good (Forty one percent gave a 9-10 score on a ten-point scale) than is poor (Twenty one percent gave a 1-6 score on the same scale). We know that employees tend to be most critical so this likely bodes well for the actually rating of customers. However, if one of our clients at W5 received this score I think we would be strongly saying there is room for improvement here.
So how can we do better? - What do we need to do to use CX to win and retain target customers against competitors and drive profitable growth. At W5 we identified some time ago, the key competencies that differentiate organisations that we know of and work with that are successful at CX
Leadership: Successful organisations have senior management championing customer service and bringing the customer voice to all decision making.
Resourcing Customer experience: Successful organisations put resources behind the CX agenda - it’s not just lip service.
Coherence between brand and CX: In successful organisations there is coherence between brand promises made and CX delivered on the ground
Customer understanding is strong and most importantly is acted upon
And finally, and most importantly employees are engaged in the customer experience agenda.
Unfortunately, our survey makes for some gloomy reading re: Irish workers views of their employers’ performances across each of these competencies.
What is our advice based on Irish employees’ feedback?
- It’s not good enough to just have a senior management team leader named for CX, board room decisions need to reflect the influence of the customer. The argument that CX is good for profits needs to be had and evidenced.
- Employees need to be shown that the senior management team are backing CX with resources. Resources need to be made available to deliver on identified CX initiatives.
- It’s very important that the CX delivered demonstrates the brand values on the ground and is as compelling and distinctive as the brand concerned. Be clear about brand values when talking to employees about CX.
- In the GDPR environment you need to make sure customer feedback is acted upon and each interaction with customers is worth the investment for your organization and the customer.
- Engage and engage some more with employees in the CX agenda. Arguably this should be the first step as it’s the most important factor and Irish employees currently do not believe this is being done.
- Intermediate or middle managers especially need a lot more support, engagement and dialogue. Our research showed that these managers who through their day to day coaching and supervising of customer facing staff are such an important lever for CX are no more engaged in the CX agenda than others.
Finally, based on our experience we would urge every business in Ireland who has a real ambition to use CX as a strategy to win and retain target customers and drive profitable growth to undertake their own survey of employees. In this way you can diagnose your strengths and weaknesses across the key competencies, take the learnings and action.
Note: The findings shared in this article were captured using an online poll, interviewing a nationally representative sample of 1,000 workers over a 5-day period in September 2018. The same approach we have used for this research over the past 3 years
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clare Kavanagh, CCXP, is Managing Director of specialist customer experience consultancy, W5
Clare Kavanagh, shared the results of this survey at a recent CXPA event in Dublin.
CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) Ireland is the Irish chapter of the global CXPA organisation that comes together to promote and develop Customer Experience best practice. As a rapidly growing organisation we are keen to welcome new members and anyone with an interest in CX to become involved. Please contact the CXPA here at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.