26 July 2013
Jesse Grimes
Jesse Grimes

The employee experience matters too

Despite the increasing prevalence of digital-only services, our daily lives are still comprised of many person-to-person interactions with service providers. From restaurant waitstaff to call center agents, our experience with services is heavily influenced by those we engage with. Focusing on the customer experience is at the heart of successful organizations, and good employee experience plays a role here too.

“I’m having problems bringing up that information,” or “Sorry, our systems are running slowly today!” Phrases like these are often part of frustrating calls with any organization, and they make an obvious point: Employees rely on well-designed and smoothly-operating “back stage” services to satisfy customers.

But it’s not only about technology. Cheerful and eager-to-please employees can deliver services that truly set a company above its competitors, as shown by the examples of Zappos and Singapore Airlines. Employees of both organizations are selected and trained to treat customers in a way that keeps them happy and loyal.

According to Joyce Hostyn, Customer Experience Director at OpenText, the importance of employee experience cannot be overstated: “Employees are the lynchpin of great customer experiences. [They are] an organization’s most important touchpoint.”

Building on the “front stage” vs. “back stage” conceptual model familiar to service designers, Hostyn looks at how (and why) employee experience needs to be designed and optimized. “Few organizations explicitly design this experience. Instead, they put in place a series of policies, applications and processes,” she writes. “But the rational and emotional journey an employee goes through in their effort to service the customer isn’t considered holistically.”

In exploring this issue of employee experience, she proposes a model which visualizes the employee experience in relation to customer experience, and the “back stage” areas of application development and architecture. And she lists several companies which have excelled in delivering customer experiences supported by excellent employee experiences, such as Zappos and Lululemon.

Source: “What does your employee experience look like?” (Joyce Hostyn, @joyce_hostyn)

Business processes (14), Culture (10), Customer experience (67), Employee experience (5)

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