Improving Customer Experience
Much emphasis is placed these days on improving Customer Experience – and rightly so. Happy customers cost less to care for and the department performs more efficiently as queries and problems are handled in a shorter time.
And how is this improvement most commonly sought? Often it is set in motion with the allocation of stringent targets, checks and balances and ever more rigorous monitoring of service delivery. But we would like to suggest that there is an even faster way of guaranteeing an improvement in customer experience, and that is by creating a transformational shift in Staff Experience.
Why is Staff experience important?
When staff are able to perform their role with ease and feel they are a valued and valuable member of a motivated, supportive team they are transported to the high-performance zone. Productivity goes up, as does levels of accuracy, but something else happens too: loyalty to the team and a sense of belonging fosters a paradigm shift in ethos. Instead of wondering what the team and the organisation can do for them, the focus shifts to:
- How can I add value and support the goals of the team?
- What can I contribute to the team?
Cheating the shift
We were approached by a large organisation to build an application to complement the work they were doing with the end desire of improving customer experience. What they wanted was a suite of tools that would link staff contribution to the goals of the business. It had to allow clarity of purpose, build competence, ensure ownership and offer individual, manager, team and customer perspective to the ultimate aim of enhancing customer experience by reviewing staff experience. The tool also needed to enable managers to identify the learning needs that would support staff in delivering their current and future roles. Managers having the right conversations can make all the difference and we decided to focus on a suite of tools that would allow staff and managers the time to discuss the competencies and behaviours expected as an employee of the organisation. But we also added a unique feature!
Traditionally, feedback is top-down with managers appraising their staff, senior managers appraising the managers who report to them etc. But we decided to turn this on its head by asking ourselves the question – how can we best measure the experience and the contribution of team members and managers? As a result, we developed the Team Efficiency suite of tools; the first of which was Manager Review followed by Peer Review.
The ultimate goal was to improve Staff Experience and the first step was to review current levels of staff experience and manager contribution against five selected KPI’s that were directly related to the experience of their direct reports. This was done by having Team Managers reviewed by all members of their team.
Manager review process
The carefully crafted multiple-choice questions delivered illuminating information both in the choices team members made and also the free text comments in response to the question: What’s making it go so well? or What would improve things for you? – the relevant question being delivered in response to the previous choice made. They are forward-looking, positive questions. The first two questions have three smiley face responses: How are you currently feeling about work? and As a Team, how well do we demonstrate corporate values? This second question elicited extremely useful information as to the consistency of approach and behaviour exhibited within the team.
While those questions alone garner fantastic information about staff experience, the next five are in statement form and the responses alert managers instantly to areas they can usefully work on. With five choices ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree we allocated one statement per chosen KPI. The usefulness of the feedback on manager performance exceeded all expectation.
Reports are delivered electronically with easy-to-understand graphics and free text comments and it is possible to see instantly which areas to focus on first leading to rapid improvement coaching opportunities. [This is where managers having the right conversations plays an important part and we can train executives and managers to have those conversations.]
Straight from the horses mouth
The application allows individuals at all levels to express their thoughts and respond to the feedback they receive. This builds into a picture from the ground up of what teams really think about their manager, corporate vision and culture, and it gives rapid insight into areas that can be improved. At all levels, the suite offers each individual a unique understanding of how their level of contribution is perceived from their own perspective and that of their peers and, where appropriate, those who report to them.
1. With all projects, clear specification for what is to be achieved is of paramount importance. This includes:
- specify desired outcome – which can also include a high-level problem to address – i.e. communication
- adapt branded online survey
- run the survey
- analyse the results
- put in place coaching, leadership or management training to equip manager to deliver improved performance and results.
2. In our experience, not all managers are truly monitored on how well they are managing their teams and having the appropriate KPI’s is crucial. We can help you put in place the KPI’s that will target manager performance in the most useful areas.
3. We worked closely with our client to make the look and feel of the survey inviting and this included input from the Unions who were receptive to the project. We also spent a good amount of time on what to do with the results. This included:
- coaching the manager to work through the feedback and determine what can he/she can do to become a better manager
- as a result of the feedback what is the manager going to do differently with their team
- how to introduce a contribution and coaching culture into their team
4. As a result of the groundwork put in by the client and ourselves, staff were really excited to take part in the feedback opportunity and were even asking when their team would be done!
Of all the tools we have delivered, managers and staff delivered the fastest turnaround response to the survey being opened.
Caroline D’ay Chief Executive
Wellbeing Dynamics. A division of Reigning Paradigms Limited
Tel: +44 (0)20 8213 5898 Mobile:
+44 (0)7836 386 735