Sally Mildren on How to Not Overlook Employee Experience ROI

Kimberly Yánez February 2, 2023
- 8 min read

Employee Experience ROI refers to the return on investment that organizations can expect to achieve by prioritizing the enhancement of the overall employee experience. Investing in employee experience yields several benefits, including heightened employee productivity, greater employee satisfaction, improved talent attraction and retention, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

However the focus is usually on customer experience, hence some organizations neglect employee experience. Sally Mildren discussed the significance of employee experience and its impact on revenue on the 40th Episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast. Additionally, she provides helpful advice on how to introduce small yet impactful changes in your Standard Operating Procedures.

Sally Mildren is a seasoned professional and a boss lady in the healthcare industry, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Boss Lady Consulting and ClarityPX. She was Marketing Director at Kaiser Permanente and Vice President of Customer Experience and Marketing at Centene Corporation/Coordinated Care, so she brings extensive expertise in healthcare, marketing, and customer experience to the table.

Don't miss out on the chance to listen to the whole episode and learn more from Mildren’s input on creating a conducive work environment and fostering employee engagement. And, on that note, remember that you can register for our monthly live recordings and ask your questions live!



A closer look at employee experience ROI

The importance of Experience Management has become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, with remote workforces highlighting the need to prioritize both customer experience and internal staff experiences. Research across industries emphasizes the significance of leaders demonstrating compassion, empathy, and effective communication in order to create exceptional customer experiences.



"Experience is beginning to really take form and I think COVID kind of amplified this need as people went remote. (...) Experience can not only be about the customer, it's got to be also about the internal agents and staff, and leadership. I think the imperative that is bubbling up in all the research and across all industries is that leaders need to lead in a way that honors the humanity of their own team, that leads them with compassion and with empathy and with great communication."

Sally Mildren
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Boss Lady Consulting
Episode 40 of Ticket Volume


Also, Experience Management goes beyond a revenue-focused approach and involves improving systems, processes, and the people delivering the service. While many organizations initially focus solely on revenue-related aspects of customer experience, it is crucial to consider the broader impact on operations.

Contrary to popular belief, improving customer experience does not always require hiring expensive consultants or spending millions of dollars. Small changes, such as modifying call center scripts or adjusting how employees are evaluated on quality assurance scores, can have a significant impact on enhancing the overall customer experience.

Rethink the customer experience and employee engagement

Implementing customer-focused initiatives enhances employee engagement, reduces churn rates, and improves organizational success. Providing growth opportunities within the organization motivates employees, leading to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Additionally, improved customer satisfaction results in higher retention rates, bringing significant financial benefits to the organization.

To enhance customer experience and employee engagement, Mildren explained it’s necessary to align external messaging with internal culture. When an organization's external messaging reflects its internal culture and values, it creates a consistent and authentic brand experience for customers, building trust and loyalty.

Also, she emphasized that a strong brand promise forms the foundation of an organization's internal culture. When employees understand and believe in the brand promise, they are more likely to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

For instance, in industries like insurance, prioritizing service over product sales improves customer satisfaction and loyalty. This leads to increased customer retention rates, and positive reviews, and attracts new customers. Focusing on customer experience allows insurance companies to differentiate themselves in a competitive market, standing out from competitors and attracting customers who value a positive customer experience.

But, compassion is crucial for employee well-being and customer satisfaction in the healthcare and service industries. Compassionate leadership creates a positive work environment, supporting employees' overall well-being and enabling them to provide exceptional service to customers.



"We improved loyalty, we improved retention. Our work was much more effective and at the same time, we improved CX and employee engagement because (...) we really honed in our external messaging and we made sure that we were hearing what the provider needs and what the member needs. We grew, we exceeded all of our membership goals. (...) Internally and externally it all was the same. Our brand promise became the foundation of our internal culture and it became the recognition system to people; so what we were promising the customer was what we were living internally."

Sally Mildren
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Boss Lady Consulting
Episode 40 of Ticket Volume


Mildren’s 7 practical tips to improve Experience Management

First of all, Mildren complained there is a false belief that improving customer experience requires hiring expensive consultants and spending millions of dollars. However, this is not always the case. For her, small changes can have a significant impact on customer experience.  

A way to see where to find things to change is to prioritize low-hanging fruit. These are easily achievable improvements that can lead to noticeable enhancements in the customer experience. For example, modifying call center scripts or adjusting how employees are rated on quality assurance scores can make a difference. 

The low-hanging fruits that you can pick up are very straightforward:

1. Rethinking surveys

Surveys are often seen as the go-to method for gathering feedback and identifying gaps in customer experience. However, they may not always be necessary. Engaging with new hires and gathering their feedback can provide valuable insights without relying solely on surveys. Involve employees who have recently joined the company, so you gain fresh perspectives on the customer experience.

2. Identifying non-digital fixes

Improving customer experience doesn't always require digital solutions or expensive tools. Listen to feedback from employees and customers, that way you can identify non-digital issues that need attention and can be resolved without significant investments. Sometimes, simple changes in processes or employee training can have a positive impact.

3. Involving frontline staff

Frontline staff, such as call center agents, have a deep understanding of customer needs and pain points. Involving them in decision-making processes can lead to better outcomes for customer experience. IT leaders should consider the perspectives of those who interact with customers on a daily basis, to gain valuable insights and make more informed decisions.

4. Leveraging call recordings for more insights

Analyze call recordings to understand better customer preferences, triggers, and emotional drivers. This data can help organizations understand customer needs and improve their overall experience.

5. Gathering frontline staff feedback

Frontline staff has firsthand knowledge of customer interactions and can provide great data for improvement. Mildren invited IT leaders to actively seek and consider their feedback before making any decision.

6.  Advice for approaching work

When approaching work, it is important to invite your team to review and optimize existing setups. Avoid starting from scratch in an echo chamber where solutions are created without diverse input. Organizations that prioritize customer experience and employee engagement are the most profitable globally. It is crucial to balance short-term revenue goals with a long-term experience strategy.

7. Taking small steps towards improvement

Rather than aiming for perfection, it is more effective to take small steps toward improvement. Instead of attempting to climb the entire mountain, focus on reaching the next rock or turn in the road. Mildren thinks you should embrace Maya Angelou's quote, "When we know better, let's do better," which encourages a mindset of continuous learning and incremental improvements. Prioritizing small, achievable improvements over perfection leads to sustainable progress in customer experience.

Bottom line

This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's episode featuring Sally Mildren. There's a lot more to discover in the recording. Be sure to listen to the full conversation with Matt Beran to enjoy the debate about employee experience ROI, and employee engagement in relationship with customer experience.

You can find the full episode on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!

Read other articles like this : customer satisfaction, ITSM, Ticket Volume podcast, Experience Management

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