The experience of customers is impacted by the entire company, from the internal culture to management decisions. HR can perform a crucial role in improving customer experience by providing employees with the tools and support they require to create positive, long-standing relationships with customers.
HR activities can be used to improve customer experience by:
Improving employee engagement
Employee engagement links directly to great customer service; the more engaged a member of staff is, the more discretionary effort they put in to their role. Research has found that sales from highly engaged staff can increase by up to 10% as these members of staff are willing to go above and beyond in delivering service to the customer.
HR should play an active role in improving employee engagement by listening to employee feedback and actively communicating with all staff. This ensures every member of the workforce feels valued by the business and that their concerns are taken on board, not ignored.
In addition, HR should ensure that employees are receiving positive feedback, especially where this is given by customers. This will reward staff and encourage them to continue making additional effort to receive this recognition.
Increasing cross collaboration
Customer service is improved where the company treats itself as “one”. This not only helps with internal understanding, but it ensures that there is less time, energy and goodwill wasted as a result of employees not sending issues to the right department or failing to understand what another department can do for the customer.
HR can help improve collaboration by introducing frameworks and guidelines to ensure interaction is carried out correctly. This could, for example, set in place one person to which issues should be sent or setting out time periods within which requests for help will be responded to. HR should also ensure all employees are aware of the work that is carried on by each department to ensure there isn’t a knowledge gap.
Ongoing monitoring of the extent and use of cross collaboration will also allow HR to determine whether more formal collaboration should take place. For example, where two teams are frequently sending matters across to the other, formally combining the teams may allow them to meet objectives more efficiently and reduce delays for customers.
Recruitment and training
HR should ensure that the recruitment process ensures that the candidate’s attitude towards providing great customers service can be considered. This may require introducing an additional set question for all the applicants, such as “Can you give me an example of a time when you showed great customer service and why was this important?” The applicant’s enthusiasm for the company and the company’s product can also be assessed by asking what the applicant knows about the business and why they have applied to the business specifically.
Once an employee with the right attitude has been recruited, their skill and customer service can be refined through training. Any training provided should be focused on the business outcomes and the need to provide exceptional customer service. HR should monitor and measure the effectiveness of training through various methods, including employee feedback and measuring the positive feedback received once staff have undergone training.