Why HR Should Care About the Customer Experience


Customer experience is the most important product a company can deliver. Given two similar companies with similar products or services, a superior customer service experience will overwhelmingly win the day when it comes to sales and loyalty. It is the way that successful companies separate themselves from their competitors, and it’s what the consumer increasingly comes to expect when making a purchase.


There is an increasingly high bar for companies to meet when it comes to delighting their customers, but what may be surprising is how big of an impact Human Resources can have on the overall quality of the interactions a customer has with your business. In fact, HR can add huge value to the customer experience when HR leaders understand the link between two seemingly disparate factors: the quality of a customer’s experience, and the engagement level of your employees.


Employee engagement: the secret ingredient

Highly engaged employees are critical to customer experience. Engaged employees are happy employees, and happy employees are passionate employees. They are personally invested in the success and positive perception of the company they work for, and they want their customers to have an exceptional experience that will make them want to come back and become brand ambassadors that will spread the word. It may not be instantly obvious at first glance, but there is an undeniable correlation between the satisfaction customers have with a company, and the satisfaction employees have with that same company.


Start with your own employees

So how exactly does a company grow its employee engagement? That’s where HR comes in. HR is the key to connecting employee engagement and customer experience. This department has an incredibly important role in onboarding, developing, and retaining highly engaged and passionate workers, workers who treat the company’s success as their own success.


When we talk about engaging employees, it goes beyond giving your employees interesting work and rewarding them for good performance (though those are indeed excellent goals). We’re talking about HR as a vital force for creating a company culture that’s committed to delivering an extraordinary employee experience.


Here are just a few specific things that HR leaders can do to improve their employee experience:


1. Improve the candidate experience. Even before some people get hired, they’re already having a bad experience with some companies. Prospective employees want speed, transparency, and customer service from the company they’re applying to, and HR can look at their entire onboarding journey and minimize the pain points.


2. Give them powerful tools. Employees, just like customers, want convenience and flexibility. Give them access to the systems and tools that will allow them to manage their personal data and make decisions on their own time, from anywhere. Invest in agile systems that give easy access to information that employees would find important or helpful.


3. Empower your employees. People want to feel as if their work matters and that they can make a difference in the success of their company. Search out ways to allow employees to participate in leadership, problem solving, decision making, and innovation.


Align yourself wholly towards the customer

At the heart of this employee journey is the belief that employees who are well cared for will strive with passion and focus to create outstanding customer experiences. This obsession with customers is characteristic of highly successful and innovative companies, and it starts with their employees first.


When the customer is at the heart of everything you do, you’ll naturally create the kind of business that’s committed to providing increasingly amazing customer experiences. As a leader in HR, promote this kind of mindset across employees and departments and watch how it drives your direction and decisions at every level, from employee to organization.


There is a direct, measurable correlation between employee attitude, customer satisfaction, and even revenue. Companies with the happiest, most well-cared for employees make more money, and in a world where the customer experience is the most important component of a company’s image, it’s not hard to see why.


HR is the critical component in forging a link between employee engagement and customer experience. When you have happy employees, chances are strong that you will have happy customers. HR leaders will understand this connection, and will work towards building a culture that fosters passionate, invested, engaged employees. In the end, it will be those employees who are the driving energy responsible for creating amazing, delightful, and exceptional customer experiences.


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