Despite customer experience (CX) and employee engagement (EE) regularly leading lists of CEO priorities, nearly two thirds (64%) of organisations are failing to integrate feedback across the two areas, according to research carried by QuestBack, (http://www.questback.com) the global leader in enterprise feedback management (EFM). The 2014 QuestBack Enterprise Feedback Study found that just 36% of companies wholly or partially integrate data from their customer experience and employee engagement programmes. A further 26% aim to launch integration initiatives over the next 18 months, but 38% have no plans to connect the two disciplines.
Integrating feedback from customers and employees is increasingly recognised as a key way of delivering deeper insight into business operations. By unifying information companies have the ability to link customer satisfaction with engaged employees, gain insight from staff that can improve the customer experience and monitor and measure performance against key business objectives.
83% of companies that linked feedback saw benefits in an improved customer experience, while 75% felt it led to more motivated and engaged employees. Nearly six in ten organisations (58%) also said it allowed them to gain insight into activities that link directly to business objectives. Integration allowed over half (51%) to link positive customer experiences to specific, engaged employees.
“Collecting, analysing and acting on feedback is increasingly crucial to business success,” said Paul Barnes, UK Managing Director, QuestBack. “Combining customer experience and employee engagement data benefits customers, staff and the wider business. However our research shows that a growing gulf is developing between those that are looking to integrate feedback and those that don’t. Now is the time for the laggards to move from a departmental approach to feedback and adopt a holistic, company-wide strategy, that brings together what customers and employees are saying about their products, services and working conditions.”
Integration efforts are being held back a combination of cultural and technology reasons. Despite the perceived benefits, 56% of those that had no plans to link customer experience and employee engagement, said they had never considered it, while over a third (36%) felt integration was too complex for their existing, departmental systems to cope with. Half of those (51%) that are integrating CX and EE have to manually export data from multiple systems for analysis, while 37% are comparing final, physical reports. Both of these add to time and cost, while increasing the possibility of errors. Nearly four in ten (39%) are still investigating how they will link systems together.
On the organisational side, the companies surveyed are adopting an integrated approach into who leads combined feedback programmes. The largest proportion (29%) said it was run jointly between Human Resources and the customer experience/customer service/marketing departments, while in 24% of cases it was the responsibility of a central insight function. The CX or marketing department was in sole charge in 15% of cases, with it being led by HR in 14% of companies. This joint approach brings together the right skills to create a holistic, company-wide view of data, avoiding silo-based working.
“Technology should be acting as an enabler, but in many cases it is proving to be a barrier to change,” said Paul Barnes, UK Managing Director, QuestBack. “Companies are quite rightly adopting a cross-departmental approach to combining feedback, but existing systems are forcing them to adopt time-consuming, error prone manual processes. To gain holistic, real-time insight that links to business outcomes organisations need to break down technology silos and integrate HR and CX systems more closely, enabling them to dig into the data and reap the business and organisational benefits.”
The research was carried out by QuestBack in Q3 2014. Responses were received from 108 business executives across the UK responsible for customer experience and employee engagement. 26% came from CX or marketing departments, with 19% within HR and 31% part of central insight teams. 73% of companies had a turnover of over £11m, with 88% employing over 50 staff.