Are you ready to transform your employee and customer experience?
How can we create better employee and customer experiences? That was the question asked at yesterday’s Transform Your Employee & Customer Experience event hosted by HROnboard and Customer Radar in Auckland – and it turns out that a lot of what we can do will make a big difference to both.
“The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”
Read on to hear some of our experts’ top advice from the event – or skip ahead to the part most relevant to your business.
- Owning your onboarding (Peter Forbes, HROnboard)
- Creating an employee experience that mirrors your CX (Edan Haddock, flybuys Australia)
- Building a foundation of customer-centric leadership (Mel Rowsell, Wisdom at Work)
- Mapping your CX & EX to own your critical moments (Briana Millar, Tonkin + Tonkin)
- Measure your CX; grow your business (Mat Wylie, Customer Radar)
Owning your onboarding
At HROnboard, we know how hard it is to attract and retain talent. We also know that employee experience is key to both creating a strong employer brand and to keeping amazing talent within your business.
But where should you be focusing your efforts when trying to create this great employee experience? Although HR experts often talk about ‘from hire to retire’, our panel of experts agreed that when it comes to creating a fantastic employee experience, onboarding should be a key focus.
A great onboarding experience carries with it a huge number of benefits, including:
- Alignment with company & culture
- Improved time to productivity
- Fewer errors (and less manual work!)
- Learnings from visibility, feedback & insights
- Improved retention
- Early immersion in meaningful work
“Induction has a huge impact on retention, productivity, employee engagement, and more,” shared Peter Forbes, founder of HROnboard. “But there are some big challenges involved – namely, who owns the onboarding process? Is it your recruitment team or your ‘talent management’ team? Onboarding should be a multi-disciplinary event – it’s a team sport.”
Your hiring managers are your frontline staff for EX – if you can teach them the importance of making a great impression, you’ll be creating a fantastic employee experience from the beginning.
But that experience shouldn’t stop after they’ve been hired – so ensure you’ve got someone responsible for communicating with new employees in the weeks leading up to their start date (or do it automatically through an app like HROnboard). Appoint someone to get all the tools and access they’ll need for their first day ready in advance. Consider a buddy system so that there’s someone to show your new recruit where the toilet, dishwasher, recycling bin, and other ‘need-to-knows’ are.
Creating a great onboarding experience doesn’t have to be expensive or hard. Hard Rock Café were opening a new restaurant and knew that it would be tricky to create a great culture from scratch. As they hired new recruits, they would add them to a private Facebook group. Within the group, new recruits started to interact and share stories – and by the time they showed up on the first day, they already had a real connection with each other. That’s a simple, free way to build relationships and a culture before your people even enter the workplace.
Nor does a great induction process have to be long – one of HROnboard’s clients, Krispy Kreme, onboard their people super quickly so they can become productive as quickly as possible. From their offer to payroll forms, they’ve moved all their paperwork online to make it as quick and easy as possible. What’s more, they’re able to share their story and insights into what it’s like to work at Krispy Kreme in the lead up to day one, ensuring that new employees feel prepared and excited to start in their new role. All the efficiency gained from their online onboarding system allows them to maintain just a small HR staff of five people for a workforce of about 1,300 people.
The only downside to being onboarded with Krispy Kreme? Being surrounded by delicious donut tastings everyday!
Onboarding is the key part of creating a strong employee experience – but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Creating an employee experience that mirrors your CX
Edan Haddock, Talent Manager for flybuys Australia, shared their story of being a ‘25-year-old start-up’ – moving from a division under Coles to being a brand in their own right. Unlike most start-ups, they already had the people – but they didn’t know what their employer brand was.
So, they went straight to the source – meeting with every employee and finding out what their journeys looked like.
“Our employer brand became ‘Find your place’,” shared Edan. “Basically, what does working at flybuys look like for you?”
With 8.2 million flybuys members (about two thirds of the Australian population!) using flybuys’ digital platform, they realised that they were probably already interacting with their future talent – as customers. Together, we’ve developed an onboarding platform that reflects the experience they give customers – a personalised induction that makes employees feel just as valued as customers.
From attaching GoPros to three employees to show a day in the life of a flybuys employee to letting individual employees tell their stories to new people, flybuys have been doing an epic job at sharing that employer brand – and now they’re giving new employees the chance to experience onboarding their way as well through HROnboard software.
“If you’re hired and then hear nothing for the next four weeks, of course you’re going to be nervous on your first day. On our platform, they’re fed a little bit of information every couple of days in the weeks leading up to when they start, so that we keep up the connection throughout – and they’re not nervous at all about starting their new role.”
Building a foundation of customer-centric leadership
Too often businesses will fall into the trap of looking at their employee and customer experiences as two very separate areas. But to create truly great customer experiences, you need to create a strong foundation of customer-centric leadership, then build your CX and EX on top of that.
To build a great customer experience, you need to incorporate a focus on customers throughout your employee experience – to engage your people and help them become customer-centric. In your efforts to do this, your leaders are the best tool you have.
“Your culture is like a machine – there are multiple knobs and buttons you can push to tune it up. One of the most powerful levers is your leaders.” In fact, if you’re leaders aren’t on board with improving your CX, says Mel, it simply won’t work.
So, what can you do to get your leaders on board with your efforts towards great CX?
- Explain it in terms of what they care about (such as the impact on the bottom line);
- Elect a Chief Customer Officer;
- Consider having a ‘customer seat’ at the leadership table;
- Test every decision you make for its impact on customer;
- Include customer impact in your 1:1s and performance reviews;
- Take your leadership team on a site visit to a customer; and
- Start walking the walk instead of just talking the talk – people will do what you do, not what you say to do!
This may feel like a lot, but the great thing is, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
“What’s your minimum effective dose?” asks Mel. “What are the parts you can take back and start improving now?” Whether it’s buying a ‘customer hat’ to put on and advocate for your customer or putting your customer success stories up around the office, there are easy ways to start putting customers at the heart of the business. Get your leaders on board, start bringing customer experience to life, invest in onboarding so your new people are just as dedicated, and you’ll bring the rest of the team along for the ride too.
Mel recommends that a great way to get started is conducting a culture health check to get started. To do that, book a free 25 minute consultation with her at https://www.melrowsell.co.nz/
Mapping your CX & EX to own your critical moments
When they started their CX journey at the beginning of 2018, professional services firm Tonkin + Tonkin had to challenge many of the assumptions they – and their team – were making.
One of their most significant assumptions was that customers were coming to them for their technical expertise more than their customer experience.
By speaking in depth to over 100 clients in-depth about their challenges, their desires, and their thoughts on Tonkin + Tonkin, they realised two things:
- That most clients were desperate for soft skills like relationship building and communication; and
- That there are a few key moments in a customer’s journey – and if you can deliver at those moments, that will set you apart.
They soon developed a journey map and highlighted to their team when to do what – and how to do it. However, they knew they could be doing better.
“We thought ‘How can we do this differently? How can we elevate our customer experience?’ It all comes down to EX,” shares Customer Experience Manager Briana Millar.
The team started talking to their employees in a similar way to how they’d talked to customers – finding out the moments that mattered to them and mapping out the employee journey in much the same way they had mapped the customer journey. By prioritising the critical points of recruitment and onboarding, they started to build an employer brand that better reflected their focus on customers – finding candidates that aligned to this focus, then helping new people learn that “this is just what we do”.
Measure your CX; grow your business
Last year, Customer Radar interviewed some of Australasia’s top CEOs and business leaders and asked them one key question: What are your biggest challenges?
Across the board, virtually all of them had the same two answers:
- They wanted to empower and grow their people; and
- They wanted to retain customers and grow.
Good leaders know that their customers and their people are the two keys to business success – but how do you go from knowing that you should be improving to actually doing so?
It’s all about what you can measure.
“If you don’t know how you’re performing from a CX point of view, you’re flying blind,” explained Mat Wylie, CEO & Founder of Customer Radar. “It’s like that old saying that what you measure you can manage, and what you manage gets done.”
That’s why it’s vital that you incorporate a CX metric into your business, such as NPS (Net Promoter Score). More than that, though. It’s vital that you leverage that metric throughout your business. Are you only sharing it with your leadership team? Or does your whole team know where your NPS is sitting? Are you using it as a ‘tick the box’ exercise and just checking it once a quarter? Or are you actively assessing it each day and getting feedback on how you could improve your NPS and therefore your business?
While measuring your CX is important from a warm fuzzy point of view, it’s also vital from a business growth point of view. That’s because an average of 25% of customers are either unhappy or neutral about their experiences.
“That’s 25% of your customers who could easily be poached by a competitor, but equally, that’s 25% of your competitors’ customers who are up for grabs if you can provide a superior customer experience,” explains Mat. “If you’re able to identify where you can improve – and actually make those improvements – you’ve got a huge opportunity to retain and gain more customers.”
Let’s look at how that works in action. Take a Customer Radar client who took over an established business only last year. They knew that their financials weren’t showing them the whole picture and needed an understanding of which areas of the business most needed improving, so they took an NPS Pulse to get a benchmark of their customer experience. They were surprised to find that some branches (such as one based at an airport) had high sales but extremely low conversions, as customers were mostly unhappy. Other branches had lower foot traffic and lower sales but very high conversions and a high NPS score. They immediately got a clearer view of what was working and where there were opportunities for improvement and since then have implemented regular NPS feedback in order to create more happy customers and grow the business.
Finding out what your customers think doesn’t have to be hard, so if you’re keen to get your own snapshot of where your business is at, get in touch with Customer Radar to take advantage of their NPS Pulse offering.