Key takeaways from the Customer Engagement Summit

We have summarised the three main themes which we took away from the 2017 Customer Engagement Summit to improve your business operations.

Small changes make a big difference 

A majority of the time businesses get so caught up in the big picture that they forget the details. This can mean their costs go up and their employee and customer experiences decline in quality. Head office usually encounter a problem and instead of thinking about small tweaks they could make daily, they implement a huge strategic change. Small daily changes cost less and are much more effective in the long run (similar to most things in life). Stuart Eames the Operational improvement manager at Waitrose explained how enabling their employees to contribute to ideas has saved them £3.5 million!

One example was an employee asking why Waitrose had so much extra space on their till receipts. The individual thought it was silly that they were so unnecessarily long and worked out how much space they could save by getting rid of the blank spaces and dud information. Waitrose listened and implemented the idea. This continues to save Waitrose a huge amount of money every single day, and an idea which they probably wouldn’t have thought of being away from the shop floor.

To get the best ideas, reduce barriers for employees which include: not knowing where to put information, afraid of objections, is there any point, will anything happen with my idea and will I be rewarded for my idea.

Employee journey affects customer journey 

When you analyse customer journeys you usually find they correlate with employee journeys. If you are receiving negative customer feedback you shouldn’t just increase your targets or push out disappointment emails saying ‘we need to do better’. You should always try to get to the bottom of why the problem is occurring in the first place. Hannah Shepherd Head of retail experience at Virgin Media (VM) explained how their customer journey showed that when people entered their stores they were frustrated with sales assistants because they lacked product knowledge.

They then analysed their employee journey and found that staff were overwhelmed with the amount of information they had to remember. They were struggling to keep up with all the new offers and products whilst working on the busy shop floor. This was the key moment when VM realised they needed to find a way of helping staff learn more. They needed a fun and engaging solution which would boost product knowledge to ultimately improve customer experience. This was the reason why they created Albert – built on top of Oplift Extend.

Your front line staff need more control 

In the majority of businesses, a select few people at the top make the important decisions and these trickle down to those working on the front-line. This can be frustrating for front-line employees because they are working under rules and regulations which sometimes aren’t the best way of doing things from people who have never experienced the work in reality. Employees may notice processes which could be changed to improve efficiency but it is made incredibly difficult for their voice to be heard.

Cary Lawton the UK Guest Experience Manager from Pizza Hut discussed why action plans are created at restaurant level. They were interested in the levers that drive customer’s intent to return, these included 1. Food 2. Cleanliness 3. Service 4. Time. Employees would assess how they could best meet those four objectives, whether that be additional staff, new/different/fewer processes. These roadmaps would then be created for the three years ahead.

Of course, when this amount of responsibility is handed to front-line staff everything needs to be incredibly transparent. It is vital that you have a platform where every piece of information is available in real-time for every member of staff to see. Oplift allows you to put all information in an easy to find place with real-time updates and notifications.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 16th November 2017