By Scarlett Bayes, Industry Analyst, SDI
Several of the wonderful speakers at SDI17 spoke about the importance of keeping two groups of people happy – your customers and your employees. Customer and employee experience (CX and EX) are two of the most influential things to the success of any organisation. In order to be able to develop your company and improve your service, you need a happy, hardworking workforce, and a happy, satisfied customer base.
Among others, Damian Bowen of ITSM Value, Tim Dorsett of Innocent, and neuroscientist and author, Amy Brann, all spoke about the importance of either CX or EX to the success of an organisation. Interestingly, each of them presented their views from different perspectives; Damian represented a company which provides a service, Tim represented a company which provides a product, and Amy spoke from a neurological standpoint.
Customer Experience should be paramount to any organisation. This may seem obvious, but according to Lynne Nash of LB Nash Consulting, only 54% of companies consider CX to be a major factor in the running of their service desk. From an industry point of view, Damian’s presentation laid out simple questions, which anyone from an SDA to a CEO could ask themselves, to summarise any organisation’s customer service. Firstly, is your service based around your customers? This seems simple enough, but perhaps your ITSM tool has unnecessary steps, or is aimed more towards a user who knows the industry jargon, thus causing more harm than good. Secondly, do you know what your customers want? This is crucial to any organisation providing a service, because without knowing what your users want and need, your company cannot move forward. Damian expressed the need for objectives in an organisation, and these objectives need to be continually checked and rechecked against your customers’ needs. Altering your objectives and processes to fit your customers’ needs can help improve your service, thus improving your CX.
Innocent are a great example of an organisation that doesn’t take customer experience lightly. Tim informed the audience at his keynote speech that the number on the back of all Innocent products is a direct line to every phone at their offices in London. Also, if someone sends them a complaint, they will hand-write an apology note back. They want to deal with complaints themselves from start to finish so that they can rest assured that their customer is satisfied with the service they received.
Amy Brann spoke about the need to engage, motivate, and manage your employees. One key question you should ask yourself is: are your employees happy? A happy team will become a more motivated team, which leads to greater performance. A manager can take several steps to ensure happiness in their team.
Firstly, a good working environment is key to giving your employees the mindset which promotes productivity. Amy expressed the importance of having a creative and encouraging environment in order to engage people’s minds and inspire them to be more productive.
Tim explained that his job is to “get people to work better and get home happier”. He knows that people only work because they have to, but recognises to get the best out of the team he must create a workspace where employees feel happier and more comfortable, are more motivated to do well, and go home with a smile on their face, looking forward to their next day at work.
Secondly, people respond well to positive reinforcement, so to motivate their team and encourage productivity, managers should endeavour to reward their employees. For example, something such as an Employee of the Month scheme lets your team know that their hard work is recognised, so they will continue to perform to a higher standard. An incentive like this is often enough to stimulate productivity among other employees so they have a chance to be recognised. The neurological response to being rewarded is a release of dopamine, one of the tetrad of happy hormones, which keeps you motivated. Seemingly, there is a cycle; feel happy, boost in productivity, be rewarded, feel happy, boost in productivity, and so on.
Lastly, is there collaboration among the different departments of your organisation? Does the manager of your department communicate with every member of the team? Collaboration is essential for a business to be cohesive and well-run. Furthermore, a sense of equality across the departments breaks down any divides and promotes better and friendlier working environments, thus leading to a more productive team.
It is vital to any organisation to keep your customers and your employees happy. Without them, you do not have a business. As you can see, there are several steps you can take to improve your service and organisation to benefit your customers and your employees, and there are a myriad of benefits which make the process worthwhile. As Tim from Innocent pointed out, people matter. Therefore, keeping the people in your organisation and the people using your services happy is the first step to success.
Hi! I’m Scarlett, the new Industry Analyst at SDI. Before this, I was a Legal Secretary, but it wasn’t really my thing – I much prefer research. FYI, I enjoy drinking tea and doing crafts.