There is a direct connection between employee and customer engagement, according to a report from enterprise cloud communications provider RingCentral, which found that disjointed communications technologies not only harm employee productivity and morale, but also hurt customer satisfaction and the bottom line. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

The report, entitled 'Overcoming the Digital Disconnect: How Disjointed Communications Technologies Are Letting Customers Down', was based on a global survey of 2,000 customer-facing employees by CITE Research, and found that companies today collect and manage more customer data than ever before across a wide array of channels, yet sky-rocketing customer expectations demand swift issue resolution.

The research indicates that due to disjointed communications technologies, consumers have poor customer service experiences. This results in customers dropping four brands per year on average. The research also reveals that employee and customer engagement are closely linked - and therein lies the solution. Ninety-one percent of employees believe a seamless platform that lets them navigate between all the ways they communicate and collaborate with coworkers and customers would make customers happier, which in turn would drive greater employee job satisfaction and happiness.

"For too long, enterprises have approached employee engagement and customer engagement in two separate silos - but they are inextricably linked," said Nicole France, vice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research. "Communications technology has tremendous potential to bridge internal workflow silos, improve customer-facing employee productivity, and increase overall customer satisfaction. But to achieve this, enterprises need tools that consolidate customer communications across multiple channels and at the same time seamlessly facilitate internal employee collaboration."

Disjointed communications hurt the bottom line
Managing siloed customer data has created friction: complex workflows and disjointed communications technologies frustrate employees, hurting their ability to serve customers, impacting professional and personal relationships, and ultimately, affecting the company bottom line:

  • Seventy-five percent of customer-facing employees say they can't effectively service customers due to disjointed communications technologies making it difficult to collaborate with coworkers, hindering productivity, and making them unhappy at work.
  • It doesn't end at the office - 50% of employees say they take this frustration home and are more likely to be rude to their family and friends.

Customers don't tolerate poor service
In an increasingly digital world, customers expect to connect with companies over the channels of their choice - and lose patience if issues are not resolved quickly:

  • Gen Z and millennials cut ties after a poor customer service experience more than five times in a year.
  • Eighty-eight percent of customers hate having to repeat themselves via multiple different channels.
  • 75% of customers would rather do household chores than communicate with an ineffective chatbot.

The employee and customer engagement equation
Employees seek to ease communication with colleagues and resolve customer issues swiftly, and customers seek rapid resolution on the channel of their choice. An integrated communications platform delivers this seamless experience, improving both employee and customer engagement and increasing the bottom line:

  • Ninety-two percent of employees say an integrated communications platform would enhance both the employee and customer experience, and improve customer satisfaction scores.
  • Eighty-six percent of employees agree that a seamless communications platform would increase company profitability and 83% of employees would stay longer with a company.

"Delivering the experience customers demand today requires addressing the friction that results from fragmented employee and customer communications across various channels," said Kira Makagon, EVP of innovation, RingCentral. "Technology has a vital role to play in breaking down these communication workflow silos. This survey confirms that employee engagement has a direct impact on customer engagement - and drastically boosts customer retention and business profitability."