Top-Shelf Tip No. 71:

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

Mahatma Gandhi

The Secret To Crafting An Exceptional Customer Experience

Your customer experience drives the success of your business. To develop and hone it, companies are paying millions of dollars for surveys and other tools that help define what the customer wants.

However, what drives the customer experience, according to David Clarke, global chief experience officer for PwC, is not a fancy formula. It's simple-it's your employee experience. Your employees are often the ones crafting the experiences your customers have. He says if you get it right, you'll get the broader elements of experience right-convenience, speed, friendly service, a feeling of connection and the seamlessness that your customers demand.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Clark's three tips that companies should consider when it comes to creating an exceptional employee experience.

1. Employees constantly weigh whether to stay or leave. Those decisions ultimately cause a ripple effect across the company and can impact your customers. The best companies take note of the importance of the employee experience and do all they can to ensure their talent is thriving. They remove the red tape and enable employees to test out creative ideas. They create consistent touchpoints and prioritize healthy communication practices, and they flatten out old-school paradigms to foster camaraderie and confidence across all positions.

2. Great companies ensure employees have the most effective tools and technology. Companies that value the employee experience make sure employees are able to do what they were hired to do—problem-solving, helping clients and building the business. They can do that because they have the right tools. Nobody wants to spend all day sitting in front of an ancient CRM system entering data at a snail's pace. That's especially true of the most productive and driven employees. They will be the first to leave if they find themselves burdened by slow or inefficient technology or a lack of purpose in their work. Make employees part of the process of deciding what works, then provide them with the tools, resources and atmosphere they need to create something great.

3. The employee experience isn't limited to the first year or two on the job. When you work for a culture-driven company, there is a two-way implicit contract that is directly related to the level of investment the company and employee make in one another. If you want the best people creating the next iteration of your experience, products and service so they truly wow customers, then culture is crucial. Also important is believing that onboarding should be ongoing for as long as someone works for at the company.

Employers need to provide continuing training, consistently improve how employees work and regularly offer better solutions and tools for them to do their jobs well. Regularly capture what matters to employees and work to act on it, and train managers and executives to be more in-tune with the employees and the company.

Focus on creating a great employee experience, and reap the rewards of better experiences for your customers as well.

Source: As global chief experience officer for PwC, David Clarke leads the vision of Experience Consulting and its 32 global centers. He's a former agency CEO whose role includes marketing, strategy, innovation and digital offerings. He believes that a company's evolving experience is its transformation and most valuable asset.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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