Happiness + Human connection = powerful forces for optimizing employee-customer relationships and experiences.

Brand leaders recognize that happiness and human connection – once considered soft aspects of CX – are now powerful forces for optimizing the employee-customer relationship and experience, while driving revenue growth. Find out how your brand can connect employee wellbeing, customer experience, and brand values to gain a competitive advantage.

Happy teams make happy customers, but why is that? Explore CX21.

Wellbeing: Defining winners and losers in CX

Wellbeing is critical for advisor engagement and has a highly beneficial impact on performance and productivity. Brands face a stark choice – create a positive culture and see motivated advisors deliver gains in CX and financials. Or neglect teams’ wellbeing, and pay the price of continued employee churn, sickness, and absence, leading to reduced quality in CX and unrealized financial gains.

The pandemic has intensified demand on customer service centers, with advisors experiencing intense emotional labor, dealing with ever-increasing volumes of demands from customers across multiple touchpoints and channels in the customer journeys. The shift to remote working has also accelerated – reducing human connections and bringing a potential overload of digitization and recent technologies to advisors.

In response, brands should be mindful of their virtual workforce suffering mental health issues, which could more easily go undetected when teams can no longer see each other’s body language.

Advanced brands will recognize the role of emotions in CX and invest in short programs offering their advisors insights on how to calm down agitated callers by effectively gathering facts, analyzing feelings, and finding resolutions.

EX: A route to supercharge results and CX

Several studies across the globe have found that it’s also a priority to support the wellbeing of advisors themselves.  Employee engagement is linked to improved personal and organizational performance, as well as improved CX.

When advisors enjoy their work, radiate enthusiasm, and communicate with customers in an emotionally skillful way, it helps to drive brand and store loyalty.

Firms should also renew campaigns to maximize employee engagement to protect mental health, wellbeing, and emotions – inviting people to access resources and coping strategies proactively, rather than mandating participation.

With a rise in workplace review websites – where staff leave feedback on employee experience, now is the time to encourage people at all levels to believe, engage with, and practice brands’ mission and values. Brands which fail to achieve this culture will lose in the war for talent, suffer reputational damage from being linked with poor working practices, and even lose customers who may be tempted away by more ethical competitors.

Human connections: Ever impactful in the digital world

The need for strong links with customers also is still critical in digital. Despite brands introducing modern technologies such as AI, human conversation remains one of the most effective ways to fully understand and resolve complex customer queries.

With ever-increasing product complexity, and customer expectations, the days of providing purely transactional services are gone; creating human connections with customers is now critical to success.

In response, many companies are recruiting people with experience not just in customer service – but also specific topics or products; as well as social media influencers, to build more authentic customer conversations relationships with customers.

To optimize the use of technologies in creating real human connections, brands will need to harness data from customer conversations to inform more intelligent automated responses.

But with more advanced processing of customer data comes added potential risk for CX brands…

Data: A powerful opportunity – but manage with care

Longer term, companies will also need to balance using their customer data to realize opportunities, with the need to protect, educate, and empower customers. They must be able to choose how their data is used in a hyper-personalized, data driven, privacy challenged world.

Brands must offer the choice to opt out or consent to receive more intelligent assistance, which could be powered by augmented reality and AI. These advances will require more sophisticated controls, and regulation of analysis and reporting.

In parallel, brands face an unprecedented risk of data breaches – bringing a risk of long-term damage to brand reputation and sales. Chief executives must create a culture of security consciousness in their businesses – including maximizing security within their own workforce. – to stay secure, keep customer trust and gain a competitive differentiator.

In the past, brands struggled to justify investing significantly in the happiness and wellbeing of their people – with many deeming it as ‘non-business critical’. In the 21st century, brands simply cannot afford not to. Now is the time to motivate your people to deliver the best possible service for customers – driving significant and sustainable business growth.

Discover our CX21 series that explores the major trends, opportunities, and challenges in the world of CX in the 21st century, focusing on how brands can thrive in this dynamic context.