Research shows that Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) have a close relationship. In today’s era, in which our professional and personal worlds often intersect, employees and consumers or customers have a lot of shared aspirations from an organization.
For example, competing organizations are always battling with each other to retain customers as well as employees (talent). Nowadays, both customers and employees have elevated expectations, and both are always looking for simple, seamless, and improved ways of engagement or working with an organization. Sometimes it might feel that customers and employees are demanding similar type of needs from an organization. Industry experts and keynote speakers refer to this combined commitment (CX+EX) as “Brand Experience.” I think the challenge that lies in front of us is how do we capitalize or align these two assets so that one augments the other.
Let’s assume that the internal departments within a firm are working on a critical program but in silos; this would typically not provide a great employee experience, because teams could be delineated in terms of time, resources etc. Priorities and strategies will not be in alignment internally and employees may feel overwhelmed or out of balance. This type of distractions and waste would bubble up and impact the product and services that are being delivered to the customers. Sooner or later, customers will go through a degraded comprehensive experience from the firm.
If we optimize the internal work orchestration, it will first improve employees’ satisfaction and eventually help provide a better customer experience. Therefore, EX could improve CX.
Similarly, CX could give a boost to EX too. Organizations today are paying attention to improve EX by building a culture, providing better technology and tools, modernizing their work environment – which is great. In parallel, firms should also try to share the knowledge and information about CX with its employees. Insights about customer feedbacks, customer profiles, journey maps, success stories, pain points should be shared with team members (whether those employees nurture a direct interaction with the customer or not). This will give teams a 360-degree context of the product and services they are building. With this knowledge, employees internalize the purpose of their job. It will fuel a better understanding of the rationale behind company’s decisions. It will promote employee’s empathy and desire to innovate for their customers, eventually satisfying EX.
To conclude, CX and EX are like force pairs, the craft here is who is pushing whom and in what direction.
Sunnyma Ghosh is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft in Vancouver, Canada.