Link Between Employee Offboarding and Customer Experience: Doing Both Right

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Company Culture & Employees | 0 comments

How can a well-handled exit impact your brand’s reputation and customer loyalty?

Have you considered the potential revenue loss and damage to your company’s image when disgruntled former employees share their negative experiences?

While most organizations put significant effort into employee onboarding and integrating new hires, many neglect the nurturing and offboarding part of the journey. This oversight is a critical mistake that damages customer experience, company reputation, and employee morale.

Employee offboarding is often done poorly, resulting in three major losses: customers, remaining employees, and departing employees. Here’s why these losses matter and how to do employee offboarding right, whether you’re a CEO or an intern and everyone in between.

Why Employee Offboarding Matters More Than Ever

Employee offboarding is the formal process that ends the employment relationship between an organization and an employee, whether through resignation, layoffs, or termination. This process includes activities such as exit interviews, turning in company property, revoking system access, and final paycheck settlements. A well-handled employee offboarding process is crucial for several reasons:

Protecting Company Reputation

Employees discuss their departure experiences publicly through social media, online reviews, or word-of-mouth. A respectful, transparent offboarding process can turn a departing employee into a brand advocate rather than a detractor. Negative stories can tarnish your brand’s reputation, impacting customer perceptions and loyalty.

Retaining Customer Trust

Frequently, employees are also customers. A negative offboarding experience can lead them to discontinue using your products or services and persuade others to do the same. Conversely, a positive experience can reinforce their loyalty and encourage them to speak positively about your brand.

Reducing Legal Risks

Clear communication and legal transparency during employee offboarding can reduce the likelihood of litigation related to wrongful termination or discrimination claims. This not only protects your company legally but also maintains trust with remaining employees and customers.

Maintaining Industry Relationships

The world is interconnected, and treating employees poorly can sever valuable industry relationships. Former employees may become colleagues, partners, or clients in the future. Positive employee offboarding experiences can preserve these relationships and even open new opportunities.

The Emotional Impact on Departing Employees

Being let go from a job can trigger a form of grieving, representing a loss of professional identity. The departing employee needs time to process this transition and understand their rights in the offboarding process. A well-handled offboarding can provide closure and support during this difficult time, reflecting positively on your company.

Recommendations for Effective Employee Offboarding

To ensure a positive exit experience and enhance customer loyalty, CX leaders can implement the following recommendations, all featured in detail in the “Doing CX Right” podcast episode 133.

1. Prioritize Employee Well-Being

Treating employees with care and respect will reflect positively on how a company treats its customers. A positive employee experience leads to a better customer service experience. Ensuring that employees feel valued and respected throughout their tenure and even during their exit can significantly boost morale and customer satisfaction.

2. Leadership Training

Invest in leadership training focused on empathy, transparency, and respect to ensure leaders can handle difficult situations, like employee dismissal, without negatively impacting the overall customer experience. Well-trained leaders are better equipped to manage terminations in a way that maintains dignity and fosters a positive company culture.

3. Transparency and Honest Communication

Avoid common mistakes in employee-employer relationships by practicing transparency and honest communication. This can help build trust and loyalty among both employees and customers. Open and honest dialogue about the reasons for termination and the process involved helps mitigate misunderstandings and potential conflicts.

4. Respectful Employee Offboarding

Handle employee separations with empathy and respect rather than relying on performance improvement plans, which can create anxiety and a negative work culture that may spill over into customer interactions. A compassionate approach to offboarding can leave departing employees feeling respected and more likely to speak positively about the company.

5. Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Encourage leaders to continually learn and adapt to foster a positive culture. A positive employee environment contributes significantly to a sustained great customer experience. Promoting a culture of continuous improvement ensures that both leaders and employees are equipped to handle changes and challenges effectively.

Listen to Doing CX Right podcast episode below for more actionable strategies👇

Achieving a win-win-win is not just possible; it’s achievable!

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Remember: by implementing these lessons, companies can transform their employee offboarding process into a strategic advantage, leading with heart to humanize business, enhance customer loyalty, and strengthen brand reputation.


Learn How To Deliver Better Customer Service Through An Engaged and Valued Workforce.  Watch My Linkedin Learning Self-Paced Course

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*All views expressed are Stacys and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.


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