It may go without saying that customers and internal teams are the lifeblood of any business. What's more, studies have proven the welfare of these two groups are perpetually intertwined. In fact, companies that rate highly for their customer experience have almost 60 percent more engaged employees than their less client-savvy competitors, according to a report by the Temkin Group.
Given the depth of the customer/employee link, it's important to consider how in touch you are with the systems that shape the experiences of both at your organization. Being intimately in tune with the people, processes and systems that run your organization are critical to the long-term performance and health of your company.
So, how do you know if you have a "healthy" company? Keep a constant watch on the vital signs. The following are diagnostics that will help you deduce what areas of your organization are compromised, and which are thriving.
Efficient collaboration is key
How efficiently different departments work together is a crucial indicator of your organization's future performance. "Collaboration defines how your corporate mind collectively thinks ― a foundational component of its ability to innovate and compete," said Matthew Leppanen, director of product and business productivity at Rogers Communications.
When analyzing the collaborative mindset at your organization, consider the following metrics:
- Are misunderstandings causing slowdowns? Evaluate the time it takes to fulfill a product or service, then document communications protocols that will help teams reach productivity goals.
- Are teams doubling down on work? Check for process redundancies between departments.
- Are data silos muddying the waters? Inspect whether your talent is operating from a single source of data or is hampered by data silos, duplications, and outright errors. What you know about your customers can make the difference between success and failure. But only if you have good data, and only if your entire team is using the same sets.
NPS and eNPS: Golden insights
Your NPS (net promoter score) and eNPS (employee net promoter score) are critical insights into the well-being of your company, and they are usually directly linked to one another. As I mentioned earlier, unhappy employees often produce unhappy customers.
As Nick Mehta, Gainsight's CEO, said in a presentation earlier this year, "Some people don't realize the strong connection between making our teammates successful and our customers successful." And it's not just a matter of employee satisfaction, but also one of employee loyalty. Gainsight found employees who would strongly recommend their employers to others worked for organizations with:
- 10% higher customer ratings
- 21% higher productivity ratings, and
- 22% higher profitability ratings
Keep a close eye on these two scores, and you'll have a better handle on the pulse of both the customer journey and your viability in today's talent war.
Can your organization deliver?
Another facet of business stamina directly impacted by your employees' morale is the ability to fulfill products and services to customers on time. "Productivity and efficiency can be achieved only step-by-step with sustained hard work, relentless attention to details, and insistence on the highest standards of quality and performance," said J.R.D. Tata, who oversaw India's largest industrial empire.
In assessing the full scale of your operational productivity, map your company's entire process from customer inquiry through fulfillment. Is your turnaround time consistent, or does it tend to take longer based on demand? Your NPS, customer surveys, and customer service requests and reports are excellent sources for this data.
Of course, production speed is not the only measurement when it comes to delivery of your products and services. The quality of what you distribute to your client base is just as important ― if not more so ― and is once again dependent on a harmonious workforce. Is your organization able to maintain quality standards as you grow?
Innovation: Survival of the fittest
When it comes to beating, or even keeping up with, the competition in a marketplace disrupted by digital transformation, staying ahead of the game is an imperative. If you don't have plans today for what your company's tech will look like in five years, you're already behind the eight ball.
This is where a service blueprint ― a lean method for identifying the mechanics of your business and service experience ― can come into play. The process gives you a detailed look under the hood at the countless actors (customers, suppliers, partners, employees, etc.), touchpoints, and current systems and processes upholding your company's infrastructure. From this invaluable insight, you can identify opportunities for innovation and where digital tools can be leveraged to streamline systems and processes, among other ways to improve the business.
Remember, in assessing your organization's vital signs, the goal is to dig into the specific measurements -- people, processes and systems -- that indicate the state of the company's essential functions. In many cases, a service blueprint can be just what the doctor ordered as it provides a 360 view of not just the customer journey and experience, but also the internal infrastructure needed to fulfill that experience.