Voice of the Employee

Using Voice of the Employee to improve customer experience

Michael Carden Employee experience, Engagement, Feedback Leave a Comment

Most companies understand the value of Voice of the Customer surveys. If you want to know how customers feel and what aspects of customer experience you can improve, you ask them. Makes sense.

Voice of the Employee follows a similar philosophy. You ask employees how they feel and what you can improve. They’re most likely going to have some feedback on their employee experience that you can do something with.

In the case of front-line staff, they’re also going to hook you up with some information on customers that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Which means VoE is not only good for EX; it can actually help you fix CX.

Voice of the Employee in action

Here’s my favourite example.

Sarah managed a supermarket that was seeing higher than usual theft at the self-checkout: most likely people scanning pine nuts as peanuts or routinely forgetting things at the bottom of the cart.  She wasn’t on the shop floor every day, so she was getting this data second-hand. She initially thought she could fix it by hiring more intimidating door staff or installing more cameras. It might have worked… or it might have been completely ineffective.

Then she figured it’d really help to talk to the people who did have first-hand experience of self-checkout behaviour.

That’s where VoE came into its own. Sarah already employed people at the checkouts, so she could just talk to them. She asked them what people were doing at the checkouts, and what the staff found was most effective when it came to preventing theft. It turned out the best way to stop people from getting cheap pine nuts was to go over and show them where to find the button for peanuts.

So Sarah started asking her checkout staff for regular updates; not only to keep shrinkage in check, but also to find other ways to improve customer experience in her store. It became a regular feedback loop. She recognized employee contributions, and when people saw that their input was valued and even used, they kept contributing.

For more on the relationship between Voice of the Employee and Customer Experience, check out Cure Broken Customer Experiences with Voice of the Employee Programs from Forrester.

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