For a brand to be customer-centric, the company needs to be employee-obsessed. CXM Today spoke to Miriam Van Straelen, Partner – Digital Platform, Roland Berger, about how organizations need to keep employees engaged and satisfied.
It’s not only customer-facing teams, either. Teams that build products and services need to be incentivized to actively listen to customer needs and design experiences that delight.
Excerpts from the interview;
How important is employee experience in relation to delivering excellent CX?
Employee experience is what comes first, to be honest. The employees first need to be highly engaged. The relation between employee experience and customer experience is highly interlinked.
For an employee to have a great experience, they need to love the company and the product they’re working for and building in order to really be there for their customers. I would even go as far as to claim that there is no excellent customer experience if there is no employee experience. A high degree of employee engagement and satisfaction is extremely important in organizations with customer facing teams like customer care, sales or account management. But it’s as important in teams that may not be client facing but are involved in building products or services that are supposed to delight their consumers. These employees need to be able to build with passion and conviction.
Most companies are not paying enough attention to their employees when it comes to satisfaction, engagement and experience.
Tell us how the use of analytics among merchants has changed since 2000?
A lot has happened since the year 2000, and at the same time, not enough has happened. In the last couple of decades, companies have understood the importance of catering to individual needs. They understand that it is no longer sufficient to look at general and social demographics. Users don’t want to be put in the same bucket with millions of others, just because they’re female aged 35 to 45 or maybe have similar household incomes.
Over the last few years, we have seen brands talking about millennials and what they want from businesses; how they want to be served. But it holds true across generations. Everybody is way more individualistic these days. People want their requirements and needs to be met on a more specific level. And data is the key to doing this. Companies can capture data that helps them understand what users want.
Of course, the change in cookie policies and data protection over the last year has added some more complexity. Companies also need to overcome how data is processed via older legacy systems so data doesn’t simply exist in silos.
Today, companies are working towards a single view of the customer. So the challenge today is that there they’ve probably got too much data.
A lot has happened in the last 20 years but maybe it’s been a bit too random. Companies now need to focus on making sense of the data they have, making sure that their tech stacks and their IT legacy systems are on par to deliver.
What suggestions would you give to organisations navigating between personalisation and privacy?
The single best way to circumvent challenges like cookies and consent is to find a way to get users to give you their consent for tracking them. Brands can do this by being honest.
I don’t want you to make it sound too easy because it is not. But in a nutshell, companies have to find a good reason why a user would want to give their consent. For a customer to agree to be tracked and marketed to, it needs trust. Trust is one of the most basic elements. Companies have to show that they are trustworthy.
It also has to be very convenient. And most importantly, there has to be a true value add for the consumer. If the consumer can see these three elements, they will willingly share information and companies need not worry about putting together all the pieces of the puzzle. Brands will be able to personalize without having to worry about privacy.
Tell us about the tech stack you use to know about changing customer behaviours.
Sentiment analysis works in a big way to understand what is being talked about in social media and helps marketing teams get to the bottom of what is moving people. It helps put intelligence around understanding customer needs, pain-points and bringing that kind of data into your overall dataset.
This is in addition to any kind of online tracking you may already have. That’s something that I’ve seen a lot of companies have not yet fully invested in. Companies need to have this kind of data at their fingertips.