Putting HR at the Center of the Customer Experience

How can you advance your HR career and make an impact on your organization? By moving HR toward the customer — the ones who pay the bills.

“As HR professionals, we need to get far closer to the customer experience.”

That’s what Dan Newham, sales director for Salo and a former HR leader, said in a recent DisruptHR talk in Minneapolis. Newham clarifies that he’s not talking about internal customers, either.

“We need to start looking at our work as HR professionals in a whole new light,” says Newham. “What really matters is the customer at the end of the day.”

What three people do organizations need to think in order to make this transition?

  1. It’s about employees. We spend so much time developing and growing employees, but where is the customer in that question?
  2. It’s about leaders. When we look at the leaders today, the focus is often on everything but their devotion to customers.
  3. It’s about customers. Are they elated throughout the process? Have you stood next to customers as they’ve gone through the process with your employees?

For Newman, it’s not just about the seat at the table. “It’s also about picking the right seat,” he says. “Your customer is on the backside of a lot of processes. A lot of policies. A lot of training. A lot of human interactions.”

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He also says to get to work. Get to the frontline of the customer experience and understand what it is like to be a customer. Being in that position gives HR permission to play in order to change processes that aren’t just important to the employee experience but also the business itself.

In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the Ignite concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture, and technology.

DISRUPT is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower people in the HR field.

Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

Interested in organizing a DisruptHR event in your city? Here's how to get started.