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Shoppers are increasingly expecting more from their customer experience. So, what's the best way to meet these demands? For some companies, it's putting their employees first.

Customer experience trends move quickly. One year's innovation is often the next year's expectation. Take delivery and returns, for example. Currently, 84% would turn their back on a retailer after a bad returns experience.1 One great way to meet shopper demands is investing in staff. Happy employees have 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales and 3x higher creativity.2

So, in what ways are companies investing in their employees? What are the pay-offs? And how could your business start doing the same?

Staff training

Henry Ford said, "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay." 3 In other words, the best time to start investing in your staff is at the very beginning.

Hyatt are a hospitality company who have become renowned over the past decade for their impressive staff training program. The company has a solid program of hiring from within. Altogether, more than 14,000 of Hyatt's approximately 75,000 US employees have worked at the company for more than 10 years. Because of this, they're knowledgeable, receptive and committed.

Technology and tools

After training, the next logical step is to ensure all staff members have access to the latest technology and tools - not only to inform their customer service, but to streamline it too.

One of DHL's clients, Broadberry Data Systems, supply some of the world's biggest brands with high-end computing software. For their online customer service team, technology is used to expedite the buying process. Bryn Downing, Broadberry's General Manager, explains the website has "a built-in one-of-a-kind configurator. It can simply supply a valid quotation built on the customer's ideal specification or, if they wish to progress, automate an order." For a company offering high-end, sophisticated servers, adding this ease to their online experience has been a game-changer.

Retaining, not re-training

Sometimes investing in your staff simply involves taking the time to listen, share and interact with them. These all help ensure high satisfaction rates.

Losing your employees can have heavy repercussions in terms of retraining time, cost and lost skills. Employee replacement can, on average, cost a company between 6 and 9 months of that employee's salary.4

Buffer is a software company that run an application designed to manage social network accounts. Their employee retention rate is an incredible 94%. All their salaries are public and all staff are remote-working. Buffer claim they have a core value of transparency,5  which helps employees feel happy at work. Statistically, these employees will be providing a better customer experience.

Company culture

There are plenty of ways companies invest in their culture. Often, though, the unifying aspect of a successful company culture is simple: freedom.

The culture at Google epitomises this. Employees are allowed to spend 20% of their time pursuing special projects they think are worth their time. Many of Google's best products, such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Cardboard, Adsense, and Google Talk, are products of this policy.6 So it's easy to see what a huge pay-off this policy is.

What about DHL?

The benefits of investing in your employees are huge. One of our DHL Customer Service Team Leaders, Chris Drinkwater, told us that "being agile and flexible is a key differentiator with DHL." He feels this is achieved because everyone "links together and works as one team."

Chris comments that staff training at DHL is all about "enhancing knowledge of the industry whilst increasing product knowledge too." He agrees there's a clear link between employee and customer satisfaction. "Absolutely - happy staff mean happy customers," Chris says. "They perform at their best; are more productive and more motivated." The part of staff training that Chris leads puts an emphasis on "team building" and "learning how to work together," precisely for this reason. 

Did you know DHL Parcel have a Customer Service excellence accreditation? We ensure all of our staff have the training and tools to keep your customers happy.