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Rajesh Midha

Customer Care

Employees Are Customers, Too

An experience-led transformation for employees will empower them to drive business growth

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 12:03

Digital experiences surround us in all aspects of our lives. Today, as consumers of products and services, we can accomplish most of our tasks digitally. This digital ecosystem has been carefully crafted by brands that have spent millions of dollars to create experiences to build and grow relationships with their customers.

Fast forward to a world impacted by Covid-19. Though none of us may have seen this coming, forward-thinking companies understood the impact that a customer experience-led transformation could have on their businesses. As a result, companies created digital touchpoints that customers want. Now these experiences are the lifeblood of many companies and allow them to safely and efficiently interact with customers. But what about employees?

Employees need digital experiences, too

Experience-led transformation for employees is the next frontier. We see an incredible unmet need to ensure the same level of rigor and purposefulness when it comes to supporting and caring for employees by creating digital experiences that help them do their jobs better.

But what do I mean by experience-led transformation? Well, let’s start by defining experience. By definition, experience is the practical contact with and observation of facts or events. But, it is also the collective perspective that you create for yourself based on every interaction that you have with a brand or company. It includes digital interactions, physical interactions, and human-to-human interactions. It also includes what you hear from others, what you experience for yourself, and the way the brand presents itself to the world via advertising, marketing, and commerce, among other things.

We often talk about the experiences we create for customers. And we often share those experiences with our friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. But it’s now time for businesses to create better experiences for their employees. When I say it’s the next frontier, I mean that businesses will have to begin to focus on this if they want to grow. Employees are an organization’s greatest and most important asset, and they need to have best-in-class experiences that help them do their jobs better. Companies that embrace this and seek to improve all aspects of their business (aka transformation) will be the ones that stand the test of time.

Imagine if businesses spent as much time thinking about and using digital solutions to support their employees as they did their customers. Team members would be happier, more productive, and businesses would be more successful. Here’s an example.

Think about how much revenue is driven by event planning in the hospitality space. Not only do event bookings drive event revenue, they also drive room booking, and food and beverage revenue. All of this requires work by employees, but often it’s done through various disparate systems that do not work well together or connect. This vendor uses one system. Another vendor uses a different system. You communicate with the guests via another system. There has to be a way to enhance this system and help event coordinators be more efficient and better serve their guests.

The technology trend of customer relationship management (CRM) has made it easy for event planners to keep track and manage every aspect of their business operations from one centralized platform. Marketing, sales, and customer service teams can also collaborate and interact with each other through one hub to identify new sales opportunities, secure deals, support customers, and track employee workflow. The transparency of this unified system has proven successful in boosting the motivational levels and confidence of employees. I can guarantee that guests also benefit from this efficiency, which can ultimately lead to rebooking, advocacy, and more revenue all across the board.

Imagine the data that could come from this improved employee experience, and how it could inform your future strategy and your services going forward.

The benefits of implementing better digital experiences for your employees are massive. First and foremost, you take care of your most precious asset—your people. In addition, employees will spend 17-percent less time on manual processes, drive 5 percent additional revenue growth over three years, and companies will see increased retention and overall higher organizational profitability. The bottom line is that improving the employee experience will result in improvements in the customer experience.

Remember human connections

Remember the time when we could visit shopping centers, restaurants, and theaters without fearing for our own safety? The impact of Covid-19 will unfortunately linger long after its presence fades from media. But people still long for human connections; digital experiences may be the only way your employees can create and build these connections without face-to-face contact.

Think about the power of texting, video chatting, audio messages, and personalized AI. All of these digital touch points can help your employees stay connected with each other throughout the company. What if your employees had a digital tool (or tools) that could illuminate your company culture to the outside world? Think about how powerful that would be.

For example, Taco Bell’s mission is “To take pride in making the best Mexican-style fast food by providing quick, friendly, and accurate service,” and this mission doesn’t just stop with serving customers. If you’ve ever been to a Taco Bell, you know the employees are happy. They are supported in their jobs with the technology and back- and front-of-house systems that allow them to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. This includes automated self-ordering kiosks, an AI TacoBot that takes orders and answers questions via an app, and automated scheduling software that regulates meal and break times as well as overtime. This investment in employees certainly shows in the company’s customer service.

It is still possible to foster connections even in a world that, on the surface, lacks physical connection. In this new world, technology will stop being perceived as a necessary evil or a threat that might monopolize people’s lives. In the “new normal,” its role will evolve to become a facilitator and enabler of community and connection. We call this “enabling the other side of the equation.” Meaning, placing just as much focus on employee-to-customer connections as we have on brand-to-customer connections. We believe technology will be one of the greatest facilitators of humanity that we have.

To conclude

Digital experiences will positively impact team members in all verticals, and employee-led experience transformation will drive business growth. How can your organization lay the foundation for driving deeper human connections with your customers? The answer is by utilizing your biggest asset, your employees. In this evolving world, connected employees are your company’s future.

Discuss

About The Author

Rajesh Midha’s picture

Rajesh Midha

Rajesh is the Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at Bottle Rocket, leading strategy, product, growth hacking, experience design, data, and engineering. He is responsible for all revenue growth and lead business development, marketing, and client services. Rajesh is a B2C product leader, building products, teams, and culture to drive business results and exceed customer expectations.

Prior to Bottle Rocket, Rajesh led product and design at Quartet Health, a behavioral health company, and before that, he built a large B2C company with 200 million users called ooVoo.