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The overlooked employee experience opportunity

When a customer reaches out to a live person, make sure you know they’re connecting with someone ready to deliver a world-class experience.

Aug 10, 2023 / Customer Experience

There are at least two users in every user experience engagement for your brand. The first user is obvious—your customer. The customer experience (CX) is defined by the collection of moments when they engage with each of your rapidly multiplying digital touchpoints, whether your website, mobile app, chatbot or online portal. But, the second user that doesn’t get as much attention is your employee.

Anyone inside your business who engages with the customer directly or works with their information is on the receiving end of all the documents and data that customers feed into the mobile app or online portal. This data-sharing relationship is a part of the employee experience (EX)—a key aspect of your brand that is defined by how engaged, incentivized and enabled your people are to do great work for your business and deliver remarkable customer experiences. On the CX side, a recent McKinsey article stated that the next frontier for leading banks is to take all the great omnichannel experiences they’ve created and converge them into a single, integrated experience. The interface for that experience is the bank’s mobile app.

The piece then walks through a perfectly orchestrated customer journey. A user selects a personalized mortgage option on the mobile app and schedules an appointment to meet an adviser. Then, after loving the offer and the experience, they use the same mobile app and phone’s biometric verification feature to sign the application right in the adviser’s office. Many leading banks have already made this fantastic customer experience a reality. While the journey to integrate and perfect the customer’s various channels is well under way, the effort to unify the tech stack for CX teams needs more work. The average contact center agent uses at least 10 disparate systems in a single day.

In a recent survey, 111 senior CX leaders were asked, “What is the single biggest challenge currently facing your CX operations?” The top two responses by far were legacy systems, processes and tools at 34%, and labor force, staffing and agent performance at 27%. A fair takeaway here is that contact center representatives have become responsible for making up the gaps in a growing number of unintegrated or poorly orchestrated systems that don’t make it easy for employees to resolve issues or delight customers.

The challenge/opportunity is that we as CX leaders now need to make sure that we create unified, simple experiences that our employees love as much as customers enjoy the mobile apps. If you consider the mismatch between the customer journey described by McKinsey and the challenges that contact center agents face, you see that prioritizing the employee experience is a major opportunity for your business.

The ex behind the mobile banking app

Leading banks are creating end-to-end customer journeys on their mobile apps that make it possible for a customer to complete nearly any financial transaction without ever engaging with a live person. But unfortunately, that highly integrated experience doesn’t necessarily carry over to the internal systems that employees depend on.

This is why it’s critical to understand your employee experience. You can make it ridiculously simple for a customer to upload their most recent pay stubs into the mobile banking app for a mortgage, but that doesn’t mean your legacy systems on the backside are integrated in a way that helps employees keep the process moving. In many cases, your people have to check two or three disparate systems to work with the same data or documentation that the customer submitted in one smooth mobile-app experience.

Major brands are getting better visibility and control over these moments by focusing on their total experience strategy. Total experience takes a comprehensive look at EX, CX, multichannel experience, digital experience and user experience as a holistic system. Taking this “big picture” approach helps you break down your operations in a simpler, more connected perspective.

In turn, the total experience approach makes it easier to identify which adjacent or interdependent factors you need to improve or fix to positively impact CX. The total experience creates a clear opportunity to discover and correct any issues arising from disparate systems and outdated processes inside your business that may be disrupting the excellent experience that your mobile app is intended to deliver.

Mapping 100% of the employee experience

Another often overlooked opportunity to improve the employee experience is to understand the employee journey the same way we visualize the customer journey. This means mapping every step of the end-to-end employee experience.

Your employees have hundreds of touchpoints that make up their employee experience. Having these touchpoints mapped and visible to leadership means they can work to remove as much complexity as possible. This puts your people in a position to be more successful, more often, in bringing customer issues to satisfying outcomes. Whether it’s calling the IT help desk, enrolling in benefits, interacting with management or keeping up-to-date with internal communications, you should know how easy all of these touchpoints or actions are for your people. Do they simplify their lives and put them in the best position to make your customers happy? Or are they moments of friction that carry over to customer interactions?

In most cases, the difference between a customer support call that “checks all the boxes” and a truly great call that builds brand loyalty comes down to how well you’ve solved for employee experience and positioned your agent to succeed. We are seeing that the most successful brands have a clear employee experience strategy, allowing them to set outcomes and measure and inspect the employee journey to know they’re meeting those goals.

A flawless mobile app experience is a huge differentiator, but that experience still depends on many other edges of your brand. When a customer decides to reach out to a live person, make sure you know with total confidence that they’re connecting with someone who has been set up to deliver a worldclass experience.

We offer actionable insights on other customer service-related topics that can benefit banking institutions in the BAI Executive Report, “Keeping the customer at the center of customer service.

Hunter Croft is president and CEO at Advanced Call Center Technologies.