How do you ensure employees are equipped and feel confident using tools and technology to serve customers?
Digital customer experience tools that capture behavioural, transactional, and preference data can transform customer intelligence into personalised insights.
Digital customer experience tools that capture behavioural, transactional, and preference data can transform customer intelligence into personalised insights. But, choosing the right tools and technology to help enhance Customer Experience (CX) can be difficult, and once it has been purchased, ensuring employees make the most of it can be even harder.
So how should an organisation go about introducing new CX digital tools?
Engage with employees at the start of the process
Organisations should listen to their employees right at the start of the tool selection process and continue doing so right through to the post-adoption stage. A perfect solution is wasted if employees don’t feel confident using it. Likewise, perfect change management can’t make a poorly selected tool fit for purpose.
To aid tool adoption, employees need to understand your CX vision, their role within it, and the wider impact this has on organisational success. Too often, companies have a vision, but it isn’t communicated well enough which can cause confusion. Once employees understand what you are trying to achieve, they can help you make it a success.
Identify what is needed to make a positive impact
Always put employees at the heart of technology design, development, and testing. Ask them what they need in order to improve customer experience. Does the process require simplicity, speed, or quality? Decide what is going to make the biggest impact and establish how much change the business can withstand.
Furthermore, it is important that customer pain points are mapped against employee pain points. For instance, if employees are using a slow system or need to switch between systems, often while they are on the phone with the customer, then the customer is likely to feel this pain too.
Instead, when incorporating new technologies show your employees the art of the possible and prove you’re not replacing like for like. Consider design thinking and prototyping as ways to show them that the chosen tools will make their lives easier.
Ensure employees are well-equipped and feel confident dealing with customers
Employees who have been part of the solution are more likely to embrace and advocate it. Ensure this momentum continues as you go live, and when change gets bumpy. Communicate regularly with your teams, be honest and clear. Explain the immediate and long-term reasons for the change, why it is important you get customer experience right, and exactly what is going to change for each employee.
It is important that teams experience the technology end-to-end and not just their part in the process. You could do this by turning your employees into customers for a day to help them understand the importance of the new CX tools, and how these new tools will improve their work.
Never forget that your customers see you as an organisation, not a department, and anyone who asks customers for specific data must understand why it is valuable information for another team. Get departments to work together to explain and show each other why completing certain actions are important. For example, entering advertisement data could impact commission or halt a sale.
Ongoing multi-faceted training is essential
One-off, big bang training isn’t enough. The 70-20-10 learning and development model suggests that individuals obtain 70% of their knowledge from job-related experience, 20% from interactions with colleagues and managers, and 10% through formal training.
If an employee has found a more efficient way of doing things, let them spread the word to allow others to learn from that experience. Centralise support so that employees can share tips and easily find answers to their questions. This helps to reduce support bottlenecks and improve employee experience. Your employees will feel supported, and an increased sense of psychological safety will enable them to do great work.
Additionally, ensure training materials are fit for purpose. For example, support centre staff won’t be able to watch a training video whilst on a customer call, so they’ll need quick and easy-to-navigate guides or system popups to support them. Similarly, assigning floating change champions who can provide in-the-moment support whilst employees are dealing with customers would be beneficial.
Gather employee feedback
New technology rollouts take time. Accept that mistakes will happen and create a culture that learns from errors. Collect feedback via surveys, focus groups, pulse checks, and retrospectives.
Forums are a great way to collect and prioritise problems. Ensure there’s regular communication which tells employees what you’re doing to address issues. If changes can’t be made, say why. Employees are much more likely to give feedback in the future if they see previous comments are being actioned or understand why an issue could not be resolved.
Ultimately, the success of the change will be reflected in customer feedback, so get into the habit of tracking and sharing customer comments, CSAT/net scores, and stories. These will help you to assess how effective your tools are and they will remind employees why the change is worthwhile.