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August 10, 2018

Combining Employee and Customer Feedback to Improve Customer Experience

Combining Employee and Customer Feedback to Improve Customer Experience

Delivery great customer experiences start within the culture of an organization.
It’s common for companies to leverage customer satisfaction surveys such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) as well as CES (Customer Effort Score) to determine how well they are serving their customers. But that may not give you the full picture.

Customer service agents are at the frontline of businesses and interact with hundreds of customers each day via various channels, so they have insights into trends that customers themselves do not have.

Whether they interact with customers or not, employees have a more in-depth knowledge of products, services, and processes that the business provides, thus can help identify operational issues that may hinder the ability to deliver the best customer service possible.

Employee feedback surveys can do more than just help businesses understand employee satisfaction. When businesses start leveraging both customer and employee feedback surveys and start analyzing the common trends as well as gaps in the customer service experience, that’s when businesses can truly improve from the inside out.

How can companies use customer and employee surveys to improve customer experience?

It all starts with mapping the customer journey touchpoints. In order to identify and solve issues, you must know where the problem originates.

What exactly is a customer journey map?

According to customer experience expert and speaker Annette Franz, a journey map is “a way to walk in your customer’s shoes and chart his course as he interacts with your organization (channels, departments, touchpoints, products, etc.) while trying to fulfill some need or do some job within each stage of the lifecycle.”

By mapping out customer touchpoints and the departments who handle those them, businesses can start to match the customer surveys back to each area and take a deeper dive.

Here are some examples of matching customer and employee surveys to enhance the customer experience.

1) Website Usability

Company websites are usually the first touchpoint a customer has with a brand. The usability of a business’s website can be a huge determining factor between getting a customer or having them click to a competitor.

To ensure that the company website is optimized to take the visitor down the funnel to purchase, website feedback from customers and employees are both important.

From a customer’s perspective, businesses can leverage on-site popup survey or initiate a live chat session to ask them if they are finding the information or product they are looking for. Note down common issues or questions customers ask to make the things that are hard to find more visible.

From a company perspective, designers and marketers need to work together and analyze the website traffic data to see where visitors are dropping off on their website and combine that with visitor feedback to improve how information is displayed on the site and the optimal layout to drive visitors deeper into the purchase funnel.

Heatmap tool

Leverage tools like heatmap tracking to see how visitor browse your site and are visitors going in the direction you expect them to as they browse through the site.

2) Product Usage

The product itself is the foundation of any business. Without a solid product, no amount of marketing will help generate new customers.

Some people may argue that products are never perfect and there is always room for improvement from either a cost-cutting perspective or enhancements that make it easier to use.

Therefore, it’s common for products to have new versions year after year like the iPhone adding Siri or making the screen size bigger as well as other usability updates that have been both business and consumer driven.

iPhone evolution

Get customer feedback about the product via a phone call, email, text message or even social media to get a sense of how they feel about the product overall as it relates to what they were expecting. Did it solve their problem or reach the goal they hoped? Is it easy to accomplish what they need with your product?

Match the responses up with an internal survey to employees who do and do not work directly with the product. See what common issues employees have and see if any of that matches what customers are saying

3) Customer Service

When it comes to improving customer service, there are many things to consider. Are the employees well trained? Are response times fast? Are employees held accountable for customer interactions? Do employees have the tools and technology they need to effectively service customers?

All those things mentioned above add up to a great customer experience.

Businesses need to look at various customer feedback surveys along with other types of signals like social media mentions and community forums where people are talking about the product and the most common issues.

Customer service agent feedback is greatly important as they have direct insights into customer pain points and understand trends that are negatively affecting their experience.

If possible, it’s good to build a community support forum to both identify common trending issues among customers and it can also be a way to figure out new solutions as customers may have an answer that the product team may not have thought about.


Community forums also allow customers to suggest product enhancements that matter to them the most. Most customers may not speak up, but the ones that do, open up the eyes of other customers and enable them to help each other as well. Literally creating a family of customers that engage and support each other. Another added layer of customer experience and relationship building.

4) Additional Data Points

There may be some additional data points that businesses need to uncover to determine the root cause of a problem. It could be a process issue, or it can be a vendor issue that is causing the problem for customers.

The problem could be location-based, gender-based or specific to a group of customers. Transactional data, preferences, operational process data, financial data, and product usage data or product return reasons are some types of data businesses can look at in unison with customer and employee feedback data to find root causes of a problem.

For example, if you see that there has been a decrease in customer satisfaction rating in the past month. After digging in further, you find out that these customers are in New York. You can then survey your customer service team to see where their feedback aligns or misaligns with the customer feedback.

The customer service team may be able to give you answers to why customer satisfaction went down, like if there is a new system put in place recently that employees had to learn, which caused more errors. If this was the case, you can put training and processes in place to better train the customer service team.

Make sure to update your team after doing the feedback exercise to let them know the impact it had. It will make them feel involved and more willing to provide feedback in the future.

When it comes to understanding your customers, you need to do more than just look at their feedback. The importance of internal employee feedback gives your business an added layer of information that can tap into insights that can both improve the customer experience, but also improve internal business processes that help save time and money. It’s a win-win for both your business and your customers.

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