By Paul Barnes, UK Country Manager, QuestBack

83% of companies that link customer experience and employee engagement feedback believe it leads to an improved customer experience. This is one of the top findings of the QuestBack Enterprise Feedback Study, a survey of 108 UK business executives responsible for Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Engagement (EE).

Most companies recognise the importance of delivering a good customer experience and invest heavily in collecting and acting on feedback from customers. They also collect staff feedback to help engage and retain employees. But traditionally feedback from the two areas has been viewed separately, meaning companies fail to pick up on the deeper insight delivered by integrating the data.

Now a growing number of organisations are bringing the two areas together and benefitting from a new level of insight. They are able develop a better understanding of customer behaviour through a holistic view of both the consumer and employee’s perspective. They can also link customer satisfaction with specific, engaged employees and use this to create and reward positive role models.

Moreover, by combining feedback from both employees and customers in real-time, companies can see exactly what is happening on the frontline, and make fast changes to overcome problems before they worsen. Responding quickly to change in today’s 24×7 business environment is increasingly important as minor issues can quickly become major crises.

Additionally, some consumers simply will not provide feedback through traditional methods, such as surveys. By looking at EE data, companies can analyse the perspective of frontline employees on the views of non-responders, allows insight that would otherwise be lost.

Four key areas are highlighted by our Enterprise Feedback Study on the issue of integrating CX and EE data:

  1. The benefits of integration are many and varied
    75% of those who integrated data felt it led to more motivated and engaged employees. Nearly six in ten organisations (58%) also said integration allowed them to gain insight into activities that link directly to business objectives. It allowed over half (51%) to link positive customer experiences to specific, engaged employees. And while 7% said it allowed them to cut costs, the main drivers are the benefits to the business, customers and staff.
  2. Some way to go before integration is widely adopted
    While there are number of potential benefits, the trend for integrated CX and EE feedback is still in its infancy. Our survey reveals 64% of organisations are not integrating feedback at all, meaning just 36% either wholly or partially integrate data from the two areas.

    A deeper look at the data reveals only 5% of organisations fully combine CX and EE data. Although a further 31% admit they are able to partially integrate the data, the overall picture is that the majority of organisations are not yet able to benefit. While 26% of the survey sample said they are aiming to integrate within 18 months, a worrying 38% said they have no plans to make this change. 56% of these admitted they have never even considered integration.

    Those organisations who have no plans to integrate their data need to familiarise themselves with the potential benefits they will be missing out on. If they fail to make the change they will be left behind by the more forward thinking organisations who have already integrated or have put it on their three year road map.

  3. Technology is a key obstacle
    Over a third (36%) of companies with no integration plans felt it was too complex for their existing systems, indicating that current technology is a major challenge. This is further compounded by that fact that in most organisations, Customer Service and Human Resources work independently with separate departmental systems, making it harder to combine feedback data. 39% of the sample said they were still puzzling over how to bring the information together.

    In fact, the majority of those who do integrate feedback still rely on costly and error prone manual practices; they either manually export data (51%) or compare printed reports (37%). These slow manual methods are inadequate for businesses who run fast changing 24×7 operations which need insight in real-time.

  4. Integration success depends on departmental collaboration
    Companies are adopting a holistic approach. Rather than entrust the integration project
    to either the Customer Service/Marketing or Human Resources department alone, the most popular route, cited by 29% of the survey sample, was to create a joint insight team.

    Those who unify feedback enjoy real benefits when it comes to higher staff morale, more committed customers and deeper business insight. They also gain a better cause and effect understanding of the way staff behaviour and engagement affects customer experience, bringing a new perspective to strategic decision making. Now is the time for all businesses to investigate how they can combine CX and EE feedback and use the results to drive their organisations forward.

Paul BarnesPaul Barnes
UK Country Manager
An experienced software leader, Paul Barnes has proven expertise in growing technology businesses, with a particular focus on the customer experience market. He has been at the forefront of innovation in the customer experience sector since 2000.
One of the founders of speech recognition application pioneer Fluency Voice Technology, he subsequently established the UK business of multichannel and multilingual customer interaction management software provider Eptica. He joined QuestBack in 2014 and manages the feedback vendor’s expanding UK team of 20 people. Paul has been involved in some of the largest customer experience transformation projects in the UK in sectors such as retail, banking, insurance and tourism. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

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