In eCommerce, as in most businesses, satisfying both customers and team members can be a challenging task. As an employer, the best thing you can do is make sure your employees feel appreciated, supported and motivated by goals. Your best ally is your team! It’s hard to create a distinctive customer experience if the employee experience is lacking. A study published in the Harvard Business Review, measured a strong link between the well-being of a company’s staff and customer satisfaction: “A happier workforce is clearly associated with companies’ ability to deliver better customer satisfaction, particularly in sectors where the contact between staff and customer is the closest, like retail, tourism, food service, healthcare and financial services (1)”.
In eCommerce, every employee can have an impact on your customer’s experience. Whether it’s the person responsible for developing the eCommerce site, the customer service advisor, the order-picking employee,, they will all have an impact on the relationship your customers have with your brand.
Corporate culture and employee engagement
A positive corporate culture can directly influence the employee experience. The stronger your identity, the greater your chances of attracting motivated and talented candidates who will want to make a long-term commitment to your company. The results of a study produced by Glassdoor show that “every one-star improvement in a company’s Glassdoor rating corresponds to a 1.3 point out of 100 improvement in customer satisfaction scores – a statistically significant impact, which was more than twice as great in industries where employees interact closely and frequently with consumers (2)”.
Putting the well-being of your employees first can go a long way to ensuring a successful customer experience. Show them that they have a key role to play in the company. We all need to feel that we are useful and have an impact. This will considerably enhance the quality of their work. Also, satisfied and motivated employees tend to offer better customer service, and therefore a more positive experience. According to author and speaker Daniel Lafrenière, “employees in direct contact with customers feel that their work is not recognized for its true value. The lack of recognition particularly affects them”. In addition, a study on the importance of employee experience shows that 16% of respondents identified the feeling that their work is not recognized at its fair value as the most irritating factor at work. (3)
It all starts with the type of values you want to put forward. Make sure they’re in line with what’s important to you. It’s essential to have corporate values that are consistent not only with the values of your team, but also with those of your customers. Indeed, the employer brand and the organizational culture undoubtedly influence the corporate brand and the perception of the target clientele.
For example, if your team attaches importance to sustainable development, in addition to ensuring that internal operations and activities are sustainable and ethical, it is all the more motivating if the product and marketing are done in line with these principles. If this is not properly applied, a discrepancy could lead to a drop in commitment to the employer, but also in the quality of service provided to customers.
Training and professional development
Investing in your team’s training and professional development could have a big impact on both the work experience and the buying experience. On one hand, employees will feel better able to offer quality service if they have the tools they need to excel in their role, and on the other hand, the team will feel more confident and competent to meet evolving customer needs. A well-trained employee will be able to anticipate customer needs and possibly offer a more personalized service tailored to the customer.
Also, good training creates customer service specialists and staff members who fully understand customers’ needs, and can anticipate their expectations and solve problems effectively while creating a great customer experience. Finally, it’s important to offer your employees the opportunity to develop their skills on an ongoing basis, so that they are constantly up to date and able to innovate and be more creative in their dealings with consumers.
Transparent communication and collaboration
Transparent internal communication helps to create a positive corporate culture, and employees are able to fully understand the organization’s values, mission and objectives. This will then be reflected in their interactions with customers, and will benefit the professional relationship they maintain. In the SOM-Lafrenière survey, “participants identified customer contact and the work atmosphere/climate as the top things they like most about their jobs (4)”.
Good collaboration between staff members, but also between different departments, promotes more effective teamwork. Information flows more easily, and teams can react quickly to meet customer needs and organizational objectives.
In eCommerce, every team is involved in the customer experience. The operations and logistics team, customer service, development, design, marketing, production, shipping and so on. Everyone is working on one of the stages of the customer journey. With trends in hybrid consumer behavior and market standards in unified commerce, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure personalization and consistency at all points of contact with customers. More and more team members will be in direct or indirect contact with customers during the eCommerce purchasing process. Communication between different departments can sometimes be a challenge. It is therefore essential to foster structured internal communications and agile collaboration.
Employee and customer feedback
It’s just as important to gather feedback and recommendations from your customers as it is from your team members. The information gathered will have interesting links, and it will probably be possible to find joint avenues for improvement. Feedback is crucial in a number of ways. With regard to internal culture, it offers an insight into what’s really going on in your company. Leaders who listen to the needs of their team and their customers will be better able to identify their company’s strengths and make improvements. Which, in the end, fosters a better relationship between the parties.
For example, in an eCommerce context, users can be very demanding when it comes to response times. On the other hand, the customer service team can sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the messages coming in via social platforms, telephone, email, online chat and so on. You could therefore decide to install an application that automates simple responses and aggregates all communication channels (like Gorgias). This way, the team will have a more efficient and user-friendly work tool, and customers will receive faster, more personalized responses.
In conclusion, customer satisfaction is positively associated with staff loyalty, and will have an impact on cost competitiveness, profitability, long-term growth and employee loyalty (5). Investment in the employee experience is also an investment that benefits customers. Loyal, committed employees generate loyal, committed customers!
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(2) Glassdoor employee reviews and ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)
(3) Étude sur l’importance relative des éléments de l’expérience employé Résultats d’un sondage som-lafrenière, novembre 2022