By David Barron
While working with a current client, I was engaged in a conversation about how difficult it was to get their workers 'on board' and how negatively it affects their Customer Experience. As 90 percent of their worker population is directly customer-facing, the cause and effect of the worker onboarding experience process can create “Customers for Life” or “Lifelong Haters.” I was immediately reminded of how this example directly aligned with the Virtuous Cycle.
What is the Virtuous Cycle?
Simply put, it is the connection between worker and customer experiences. They are intrinsically linked — and must be addressed together. So how can companies create both amazing worker and customer experiences that lead to loyalty, profitability, and growth?
Create and implement an amazing customer and employee onboarding process.
- Engage employees to take creative action and understand your organization's purpose and values
- Set them up to be productive day one (and every day that follows)
- Provide ongoing training and peer learning opportunities
The Employee Onboarding Process and the Link to Customer Experience...
Happy Workers create Happy Customers.
Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective advocates inside and outside of your organizations. How to make this happen? Focus on culture. From meeting to lectures to videos to computer-based orientations, it's key to make new hires feel welcome and a part of something larger.
While accurate, the definition of onboarding only addresses half the equation. It focuses on the internal orientation and how to become a member of the internal team, but not how to engage and promote customers to become a member of the team as well.
So, what does onboarding look like from different perspectives? Let's see...
Worker perspective - As a new worker, I have a couple of concerns: how do I manage the internal processes (i.e., getting all my paperwork completed, meeting my team, learning where I sit, logistics of the office), and how do I perform my job to the best of my ability?
To me, that means I not only need the internal training to enroll in benefits and enter time but also the job-specific training to execute the responsibilities of my job in an engaging way. In this case, what to do, how to do it, and how to measure customer success.
Manager perspective - As a manager, I need two things from my worker’s onboarding experience: A worker who is engaged in what they are doing (they see the value of their job in relation to the success of the company) and know how to do their job successfully (they have been functionally and technically trained to complete the tasks assigned to them). Those two things will drive their success and mine.
Customer perspective - As a customer, my desire is simple: to have the product or service I have purchased working to my expectations, delivered and/or implemented in the fastest time possible, and with the fewest number of issues. I want to have a hassle-free experience. If I can get that, I will continue to buy from you and tell my friends about my experience with you.
So, if companies can focus on addressing the issues of the internal and external customer-oriented training at the worker level, managers will have an engaged and customer-focused worker, and ultimately, create a great Customer Experience.
Interested in learning more about how to succeed at the customer and employee onboarding process? Check out our eBook, The Productivity Prescription: How To Create a More Productive Workforce.