What is the Role of HR in Customer Experience?

What is the Role of HR in Customer Experience?

In some ways, today’s focus on the customer experience (CX) echoes the same sentiments of the saying “the customer is always right.” Everything revolves around providing potential and existing customers with a valuable experience from start to finish. It is so important that 58% of global businesses participating in a survey perceived it to be their main competitive differentiator.

But how does a company drive strategies that result in better customer experiences? Technology and marketing are certainly involved, but one often overlooked contributor is Human Resources (HR). Experience delivery boils down to having a customer-oriented culture, and it can only be successful if everybody in the organization has a customer-first mindset. As HR professionals work to develop this culture, there are several important roles that they play.

Driving Customer-centered Culture Through HR Processes

More than just a support function, the fundamental work of HR involves driving employee behaviors to achieve business outcomes, and this includes shaping organizational culture. In this respect, HR can help transform an organization by developing focused programs to align business objectives with CX-oriented goals. This cultivates a common understanding of CX to develop a customer-first mindset and behaviors in employees across the organization.
Apart from culture, HR processes like recruitment and training are also essential when implementing a CX program. Streamlined hiring processes should identify the right candidates who can deliver outcomes according to your company’s definition of CX. Onboarding and training these employees should also focus on customer-related skills. By focusing the processes and culture to achieve CX outcomes, HR can ensure that employees themselves drive actions that prioritize the customer’s experience.

Bridging Customer and Employee Engagement

HR also plays an important role in facilitating data and feedback systems between employees who deliver the customer experiences and the consumers themselves. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing and Science found that employee satisfaction had an impact on customer outcomes, leading to a higher likelihood of re-patronage and increased customer loyalty resulting in revenue increase. By understanding their strengths and areas for improvement in the context of how CX is evaluated, employees become engaged and are able to meet goals more effectively. Furthermore, employees that are highly satisfied in their roles form more positive relationships with customers. These employees are able to have better interactions with customers and are able to put more effort into understanding them. Verizon Connect highlights the importance of understanding your customers, and one way to do so is to treat them as your partners, similar to how you relate with your employees. They will feel more like valued individuals with needs rather than mere numbers that add up to profit.

A great example of HR strategy that highlights how crucial employee engagement is to CX was demonstrated by Sephora. Stores in the APAC region and Australia used data collection methods to gain insights into the relationship between employee and customer experience. They found five key elements that determined the needs and motivations of both employee and customer: personalization, ease, appreciation and recognition, good relationships, and purpose. When using a people-centered approach like this to identify and articulate those needs, it then becomes much easier to connect employees back to the brand. It also becomes possible to measure the impact of employee actions on customer experience.

Performance Management

Business landscapes are shifting all the time, so the way HR manages performance in the workplace must also evolve into agile practices. And when it comes to ensuring CX, HR plays a crucial role in helping employees develop the skills necessary to respond effectively while ensuring the delivery of current goals.

As organizations move from traditional performance management methods to agile techniques, employees delivering customer experiences need to be more capable in order to boost company performance. This can only be done with regular feedback, communication, and constant coaching, especially in high-pressure and highly competitive environments. HR and People teams can work with management to boost enthusiasm and engagement with the right coaching methods to clarify objectives, continuously upskill talent, and provide a work environment based on end-to-end accountability. By doing so, employees will be more capable of providing customers with their changing needs, even with the pressure of fast-paced industries.

It’s no surprise that customer experience is directly linked with the employee experience. By understanding HR’s role in aligning developing processes, increasing employee engagement, and adjusting performance management systems to customer needs, businesses will learn how to succeed by putting people first.

Written by Rae Jolene
Exclusively for peopleshr.com

PeoplesHR
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