The customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) have never been more important. In fact, they’re inherently linked and are two of the driving forces of business today. Independently, each leads to valuable relationships — with customers and employees (CX) and employees and management (EX). But when CX and EX are managed together, they create a sustainable competitive advantage with a greater likelihood of driving growth.
Why it's important
Aligning CX and EX can help an organization deliver on its mission by increasing performance in areas that matter to stakeholders, customers, and employees. When employees feel supported in meeting the changing landscape of the workplace, customers feel that confidence and are delivered a better service experience.
In fact, according to the latest Salesforce State of Connected Customer Report, a company that shows genuine concern for both its employees and its customers, while remaining efficient and effective, is likely to see that high employee satisfaction generates a better customer experience.
Many companies are still operating in silos, making investments that are not necessarily supportive of employees’ day-to-day work. Employers must shift their thinking and redirect efforts that connect the two perspectives and their impact on business operations.
This alignment can seem challenging given that the two are often not on equal footing. Employee experience is hard to measure since it revolves around outcomes like retention, loyalty, and connection to purpose. It rarely has a seat at the executive table next to the more revenue-generating and trackable CX.
How to Strengthen Both
In any service organization, your end users are your employees, so be mindful of how you design things and how that design impacts the user experience. Service operators are still battling with redundant operations like manual data entry. A tech stack where they feel like a robot using it, creates a negative EX. Employees are looking to be empowered and want to feel like they’re adding value.
Executives who focus on employee engagement help drive customer experience and increase revenue. Because there is no blueprint to which levers of EX and CX result in positive business outcomes, leaders should communicate their vision for cultural change. Show that the company has a purpose and employees are a key component. Understand their challenges, pain points, and feedback. That empathic leadership and a strong team ethos will deepen employee engagement.
If employees are working with an old tech stack, the likelihood of customers also being exposed to that outdated system is high. The need for digital transformation across industries was intensified with a dispersed workforce because of processes that could no longer accommodate organizational workflows. It creates more demand for sensible and robust technology solutions. But it’s not just about technology. It’s how that technology will be adopted for the long term by the people who will be using it the most. When effort is only concentrated on the technology, it may become unusable by employees and they will find other workarounds to get the job done.
What the Future Holds for EX
There’s an opportunity to really dig deep into the dual impact of EX and CX together. If a team implements a more efficient way to see a 360 degree view of the customer in the call centre, they’ll also need to figure out the impact that technology has on employees and customers. Comparing an employee’s perception of a customer problem and their ability to solve it, with a customer’s perception of a problem and their satisfaction with the solution is a powerful metric to consider.
Employees hold a key for fostering brand loyalty among customers and paving the way for future growth. When an employee cares, it translates to good CX. If an employee is indifferent, the customer senses that and can lead to a mediocre CX.
It’s easy to establish a negative reputation by not providing great CX, and with today’s customer service bar so high, employees should enjoy what they’re doing and feel like they’re contributing.
There is still more inertia to overcome when it comes to EX. The obvious focus is on landing and retaining customers and delivering them the best experience possible, but business leaders should take the time to focus on employee engagement. Bring the team on the journey and make them feel part of the overall mission. Happy employees will go that extra mile to help your customers out, be resilient in challenging situations, and help the company’s profits grow.