A Company’s Most Valuable Customers Are Its Employees

Author Date January 26, 2022 Read 7 min
Employee Experience Is Customer Experience When it comes to customers, we analyze personas. We track their engagement, their drop-off rates, and their overall satisfaction. We have an entire…

Employee Experience Is Customer Experience

When it comes to customers, we analyze personas. We track their engagement, their drop-off rates, and their overall satisfaction. We have an entire Customer Journey mapped out for them and we check in on them every step of the way.

And why not? You’ve been told to be customer-centric, to pay attention to the customer experience, to ensure that your customers get exactly what they expect from your company.

But, just for a moment, let’s consider our employees. They’re the common denominator for all customer demographics, and their engagement, happiness, and contributions are what make our companies so impactful. As such, their achievements are our achievements, their wins ours.

A great company welcomes feedback anytime, not just during annual reviews and exit interviews, and fosters the personal and professional growth of their employees.

Moreover, a great company hears the concerns of their employees and implements the necessary changes to make the workplace and experience a positive one for all employees.

Of course, many things factor into an employee’s experience, and being able to check off all an employee’s approval boxes can be a challenge. Companies that prioritize communication, growth, and collaboration—on both a personal and professional level—often find themselves succeeding where others aren’t. And during times like these, employee satisfaction is more important than ever.

What “The Great Resignation” means for companies.

Right now, it’s a job seeker’s market. Workers en masse have begun to leave their jobs across all industries. This change, which started during the COVID-19 pandemic, is being referred to as The Great Resignation. While it started as pushback against increased workloads, burnout, and a lack of personal safety regulations in the hospitality and health care industries, it spurred workers in nearly every industry to take action as well.

Regardless of industry, it seems, workers are feeling undervalued, under-appreciated, and aren’t afraid to put their personal needs ahead of their professional gain.

Another result of the pandemic has been the rise in the popularity of remote work. More and more companies are moving to a fully-remote policy or offering flexible work locations and hours. As workers consider new opportunities, the biggest factors driving them include physical safety, mental well-being, emphasis on a better work-life balance, and remote work policies. In fact, Limeaid recently reported a significant percentage of new hires were “attracted to their current job based on the ability to work remotely (40%) and other forms of flexibility (24%).”

However, there’s more to a successful remote work policy than meets the eye. Integrating a seamless work environment for all employees, regardless of location, is one of the biggest bargaining chips on the table for employers, and can set you apart from the competition. Ensure your company’s technology, especially your employee-facing platforms, are optimized.

We’ll cover the specifics on how and why internal platforms and technology are critical to your company’s success, but for now, let’s discuss why you should prioritize employee retention. One of the easiest ways to begin? Think of your employees as your most valuable persona.

What does considering an employee a customer mean, exactly?

For companies during The Great Resignation, employee retention is key.

Beyond creating a work environment that fosters growth, encourages communication, and sets employees up for success, how can employers keep their employees?

Let’s start by considering your employee journey. Which touch-points would you spotlight? What verticals, communication, or changes, would make a positive difference for them?

Many things factor into an employee’s journey and success. As employers, we can offer proper training, good management, and clear growth tracks, but that’s just the start. A focus on personal and professional growth sets individuals up to thrive—which, in turn, sets the entire company up for success.

The long-term success of a company is often a byproduct of successful employees. When you put your employees’ needs at the center of the frame, you not only increase employee retention and satisfaction, you boost revenue and the overall experience of your customers. And watching your employees grow and thrive is one of the most rewarding achievements a manager can experience. Prioritizing this relationship, we would counter, is the most valuable thing your entire company can offer.

Why is customer experience important?

You’ve put together a world-class team. Don’t lose them before you have to! Ideally, the only time employees leave your company is after their experience and training outpaces that of your company—after you’ve taught them everything you can, and a new opportunity is the only option for them.

Plus, having to hire, onboard, and train new employees is counterintuitive to a company’s success. Each time you lose an employee, the impact is more than simply losing a teammate. Customer retention can be up to 25X more cost-effective than customer acquisition. The same can be said for employee retention and acquisition.

Additionally, every employee carries an invaluable amount of knowledge and resources. Losing their institutional knowledge—and having to train a new employee and get them up to speed—takes time, money, and resources. Put short: people are our most valuable assets and should be treated as such.

What is the digital employee experience?

While the employee experience encapsulates everything in their employee journey—from onboarding to growth tracks—a key aspect is the digital employee experience. As more and more companies transition to remote work, having a well-planned digital platform is key to their success.

A successful digital employee experience starts at the onset of hiring. It’s your new engineer’s first day on the job, and they’re working remotely. Have they already received their work computer? Has all of their virtual onboarding been arranged? Is your VPN accessible from their home wifi, and do they know who to go to for any urgent concerns?

Of course, an employee’s digital experience goes far beyond onboarding, and the longer an employee has been with the company, it’s more than likely their experience has morphed and changed as well. As teams grow, merge, and change, platforms, and tools are often tested, used sporadically, or disregarded. This can make onboarding new team members a challenge—and means you might not be using your platforms as effectively as you could be.

The best place to start? Prioritize a singular digital platform for all employees, regardless of department. Communication, collaboration, and breaking down silos are often the largest internal complications companies face. It’s all-too-easy to begin using multiple different platforms for single-use items, either knowingly or simply because there is no single platform that can handle all of your team’s needs.

Having one platform used by all departments does more than having a single source of truth and resources. It provides better accessibility in regards to internal platforms and intranets and dramatically improves visibility between teams. While this may sound like a minor thing, working within multiple platforms that don’t talk to each other creates unnecessary extra work, the potential for roadblocks, and unnecessary miscommunication.

It’s not necessarily about continually adopting and integrating whatever the newest, shiniest tech is—it’s about finding the technology and resources that work for your employees, and creating a smoother process for everyone.

Just think of the benefits that could come from prioritizing an employee’s overall experience. Employee retention and company culture, to name a few.

This all sounds great in theory, but let’s talk logistics. Where do you start—how can this be applied to your company and your specific needs—and what does step one of this process look like? To see firsthand, applicable results in action, let’s take a look at a case study featuring Southwest Airlines.

Consolidating Southwest Airlines’ platforms—and increasing recovery times by 15%.

Each day, Southwest Airlines handles more than 3,000 flights. The Network Operations Center, a $30 million facility that oversees the logistics of all Southwest flights, had been relying on decades-old technology and applications, running on multiple platforms.

In an industry where every minute counts and communication is key, Southwest knew big changes needed to be made. They decided to overhaul their entire digital employee experience. That’s where OpsSuite came in.

After months of collaborating and consulting, projekt202 delivered OpsSuite, a streamlined platform that could be used by Southwest employees and contractors across all departments and teams. OpsSuite not only acts as a singular source of communication for all team members, but its algorithm is also able to highlight weather patterns that might cause delays. It takes into consideration all the multiple moving parts—quite literally—for each team member, from the pilots and flight dispatchers to the baggage claim attendants and customer service coordinators.

Now, all Southwest workers have visibility on “when a task [has been] completed, and allow[s] employees thousands of miles apart to collaborate digitally on tasks like tracking in-transit aircraft, making sure gates are prepped for arrival, and overseeing equipment maintenance without picking up the phone or sending a fax.”

For a multi-billion dollar corporation responsible for handling hundreds of flights each day, prioritizing the processes and communication efforts of their employees came with multiple benefits. Employees’ jobs are more seamless and less chaotic, leading to an overall better employee (and customer!) experience. Not only that, but OpsSuite automatically predicts and evaluates delays and weather that might require adjustments and revisions—whether that be unused airplanes or rerouting flights. In circumstances like this, OpsSuite’s recovery improvement has also increased by 15%.

Seem overwhelming? We’re here to help!

If you’re looking to improve your employee experience, look no further than projekt202. We’ve got nearly two decades of creating experience-driven software for companies just like yours. Don’t settle for mediocre—go with a platform that can be streamlined and completely customized to fit your needs. Reach out to our team. We’d love to talk!

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