What do the warm faces at Trader Joe’s have in common with Apple’s sleek designs? Their executives focus on improving employee engagement to drive customer experience and, as research has shown, increase revenue.
And they’re achieving staggering results. In partnership with Forbes Insights, Salesforce surveyed 300 executives across employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) roles and found that companies that prioritized EX to deliver a premium CX achieved 1.8 times faster revenue growth. Conversely, focusing solely on customer experience did not correlate to a higher employee experience or revenue growth. This indicates that the first step to increasing revenue — and the continuity of your business – lies with how you optimize the employee experience to consistently drive growth in the face of market shifts.
“The fastest way to get customers to love your brand is to get employees to love their jobs,” said Tiffani Bova, growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce. Companies have to look inward in order to move forward.
Some ways that companies can improve their employee experience include:
- Streamlining management with automated systems that assess employee wellness
- Championing cultural shifts to make information more accessible and intuitive
- Developing and incentivizing cross-functional teams to enhance employee and customer-related experiences
- Investing in integrated technologies to continuously train and protect employees, capture critical data, and measure a unified experience
In addition to traditional surveys, our research included long-form interviews and desk research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index and Glassdoor.
The research team defined “customer experience” as whether a publicly-traded company met the customer’s expectations and overall satisfaction. “Employee experience” was measured by employee engagement and satisfaction ratings from Glassdoor. Revenue growth rates were measured by a three-year median compound annual growth rate (CAGR) across companies.
Read on for what we learned from organizations achieving revenue growth and business continuity even amid a rapid market shift.
Tackle cultural shifts with vision
The study found that a lack of alignment on cultural shifts is an obstacle in rallying for change. More specifically, respondents reported a lack of shared vision between EX and CX leaders at the highest decision-making levels (41% of CX leaders cited). In comparison, resistance to cultural change was equally important (43% of EX leaders noted).
Redesigning how an organization works is no easy task. But companies achieving record customer growth in an unlikely market recognize that culture change is necessary. Aligning on a shared vision requires leaders who desire to drive innovation. And, integrated CRM solutions provide the fuel to sustain the journey of uniting your teams around your vision.
After all, research shows that 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Two of the actions companies can take to address this are incentivizing employees on CX metrics, and creating cross-functional teams to tackle both CX and EX.
Combine cross-functional skill sets around EX and CX
Forty percent of executives surveyed reported that creating teams that combine EX and CX skills was the best way to overcome cultural obstacles. But, cultural hiccups aside, uniting teams is the first step towards capturing a single view of the customer.
Companies that tapped into these growth hacks indicated they also incentivized employees on CX metrics, which fosters a similar experience to the customers they connect with. Integrated CRM solutions are a proven solution to track these interactions across multiple touchpoints. More importantly, they’re a secure way to store historical customer data so that every interaction is personalized to their preference.
Get ahead of employee burnout
Separating work and home from the comfort of our living rooms has never been more challenging. Working at home often means working around the clock, and this heightens the importance of preventing burnout.
A reported 89% of revenue growth leaders said that improved EX leads directly to improved CX; they treat employee experience as a strategic imperative. Even in times of high revenue growth and increased customer satisfaction, the report revealed a need to stay focused on EX to prevent burnout and a high staff turnover rate (which will inevitably lower CX). If you never thank employees for their contributions or find new, creative ways to develop their careers, you’re at a higher risk of burnout.
Thankfully, technology has evolved to meet growing demands and streamline ongoing training solutions to keep employees engaged. Opt for solutions that centralize wellness programs while capturing real-time insights to help you lead. The average organization has 900 applications, and only 28% are currently integrated. Companies are still operating in silos and making investments that are not necessarily crucial to employees’ day-to-day work.