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Igniting superior customer experience by investing in employees

By Jim Kirby


Investing in employees benefits the overall customer experience.

Read time: 5 minutes

Culture in the workplace has achieved widespread staying power and reached a pinnacle of awareness for businesses globally. Showing employees they’re valued has proven potential to skyrocket growth in today’s workplace landscape.

A holistic view of the employee experience (EX) — based on culture — includes each step of the employee lifecycle: attracting, hiring, onboarding, training, engaging, managing, and developing employees. But to excel in each of these categories, you need a strategic approach.

Why invest in employees?

Investing in employees has proven to attract new talent, improve retention, lower absenteeism rates, increase engagement and effort, elevate brand perception, and cultivate high performers.

According to a Gartner Modern Employee Experience Employee Survey, organizations whose employees are largely satisfied with their experience are 48% more likely to meet organizational customer satisfaction goals, 89% more likely to meet organizational innovation goals, and 56% more likely to meet organizational reputation goals.

When your employees feel valued, those “warm and fuzzy feelings” often have a ripple effect on your customers. And those good feelings about your overall quality of service delivery and brand can result in steady revenue growth over time.

The bottom line is, people who are happy at work are in the best possible position to create happy customers — because when employees feel better, they perform better too.

Connecting the dots: from EX to CX

Investing in employees and their experience goes hand in hand with boosting customer experience (CX), especially in service delivery. While this affects most industries, the most prevalent sectors are retail, hospitality, and leisure. Recently, workers in these sectors were also more likely to switch jobs during the pandemic due to a lack of job satisfaction, being overworked, lower wages, and the need for flexibility.

When you put the focus on training, coaching, and supporting employees in the work they do each day, you won’t just get happier employees. You’ll also save time, money, and other resources that get lost in the revolving door of employee attrition.

When your employees stay longer, they become more invested — not only in their daily work but in the company’s mission overall. Take Amazon, for example, a company known for its superior customer service and easy returns because they’ve taken the time to prioritize service in its company values and culture.

The bottom line is, people who are happy at work are in the best possible position to create happy customers — because when employees feel better, they perform better too.

Moving the needle: 7 thought-provoking tips for building culture by investing in employees

1. Make culture and EX a priority for your organization.

This should involve both leadership and employee feedback with a budget to support initiatives. One analyst reported that companies invest an average of $2,420 per employee on EX, which is projected to increase annually based on employee expectations.

2. Create a new vision for human resources.

Many HR departments are modernizing as “People & Culture” departments. This may mean evaluating company values; expanding diversity, inclusivity, and cross-functional team-building programs; creating feedback loops; beefing up benefits and perks; and offering flexible work schedules, among others. Rethink your policies around remote working, shared jobs, and alternative ways to work.

3. Live and breathe your company values to create a better culture.

This may involve reassessing your mission and values to appeal to younger generations, who often care more deeply about social and cultural values like sustainability and giving back to the community.

4. Fuel employees with the right data and automation technology.

For example, using single sign-on (SSO) to access core applications or getting access to a business intelligence platform can help employees make more informed decisions. Does your company offer productivity and efficiency tools to eliminate manual tasks?

5. Encourage ongoing learning and development across all departments.

Tuition reimbursement, certification classes, and upskilling pathways are winners. This can lead to mobility, career planning, and innovation. Similarly, coaching and mentoring programs can improve EX, culture, and lifelong connections. Prioritize time to learn and develop skills —the aftermath may yield 218% higher revenue per employee with comprehensive training.

6. Incentivize your staff.

Are employees incentivized to give excellent customer service and show pride in their work? Do they enjoy solving customer challenges? These are quintessential traits for frontline employees and customer success teams.

7. Constantly monitor your progress.

Are frequent surveys and pulse tools, like Net Promoter Surveys (NPS), available to get feedback from employees and customers? Are managers creating feedback loops and showing their team(s) how things are changing?

Business performance depends on employee experience and work culture. It all starts and ends with people (and help from technology) providing the best products and services. Employees now have the same expectations as consumers, forcing organizational change. Are you ready to redesign, rethink or strategize on how to better invest in your employees? The outcome will impact your business — inside and out.

Read more about how Net Promoter Surveys can improve customer and employee experiences in our article, "Want to improve your CX? Start with your Net Promote Score."

The Ricoh service advantage

With two-thirds of our U.S. staff dedicated to service delivery, Ricoh is constantly investing in our employees to optimize the customer experience. Within our Service Delivery organization alone, our team members have 12 years of average tenure. Through our deep investments in onboarding, skill certification, learning & development, employee benefits, and more, we’ve grown and sustained a dedicated team that is unmatched in the industry and laser-focused on the end-to-end customer lifecycle.

Through our Service Advantage offering, our team members perform many different types of work for our customers — servicing other types of equipment outside of Ricoh’s own solutions and offerings, such as robotics, cash recyclers, micro-fulfillment systems, and other automated technologies.

Learn more about the ways you can reimagine your business by optimizing the way your employees work.

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