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Align your customer and employee experience to deliver greater returns

In this article, we discuss the links between Customer Experience and Employee Experience maturity. Because the best-laid plans can only be delivered if you have the full trust and support of the most important people in your business – your employees.

What do we mean by Customer Experience and Employee Experience?

Customer experience (CX) is everything related to a business that affects a customer’s perception and feelings about it, from the smallest to the largest interactions across the customer lifecycle.

Employee experience (EX) is everything related to employment that affects an employee’s perceptions and feelings about their employer across the employee lifecycle.

The culture of organisations is changing rapidly, businesses increasing focus on customer centricity requires agility and enterprise-wide collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic has called into question the robustness of organisations in ways we never expected. It has driven businesses to focus on their strategy, question why they exist and pivot their operations with an unprecedented speed of response and level of agility.                                                                                                       

As part of that, businesses are increasing their focus on their customers. But customer needs change rapidly – so how do you meet and exceed those needs? What more can you do once you’ve invested in data, technology, and service and product improvements?

The answer is simple: investing in your people is a sure-fire way to improve your customer experience.

In fact, your customer and employee needs are far closer than you think. They have a big impact on each other. Today, in a world where our professional and personal lives often cross over, your customers and employees have similar expectations from your organisation. The challenge is to align your customer experience and your employee experience so that one compliments the other.

In short? The more your employees live your purpose and find satisfaction at work, the better your customer experience.

To help visualise this connection, we’ve aligned customer and employee needs with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It shows how complementary the needs of your two key audiences are.

Just like creating your path to great customer experience, the journey to improving your employee experience takes time and investment across your employee lifecycle.

Remember, as your business faces a rapidly changing landscape, your employees are facing the headwind with you. They’re experiencing change at a level they have never experienced in both their work and personal lives. They’re seeing increasing expectations and pressures of performance alongside changes in systems and tools as businesses transform and digitise. They’re likely to be personally re-evaluating their lives post-pandemic.


So how do you create an environment where your employees, your customers and your organisation can thrive?

It’s good to start with some questions that will help shape your employee experience:

  1. Do you really know how your employees are feeling? Have you gone beyond your average pulse surveys and sat down face-to-face with groups of employees from across your organisation to talk to them recently?
  2. If you have, did you really listen?
  3. What did you learn about their current mindsets?
  4. Are they ready and willing to change?
  5. What do they think about your offer to them?
  6. Do they understand your purpose and the journey you’re on as an organisation?
  7. Do they know what it means for them?
  8. Ultimately, do they trust you to deliver for them and your customers?

If you’re not sure about your answers – or if you’ve got some of them and don’t know what to do with them – employee experience (EX) mapping is a great place to start.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. EX mapping brings together insights from across your business and employee lifecycle. It combines formal responses from your employee surveys with qualitative insights from employee workshops and management interviews to give you a clear picture of the environment you’ve created.

Once completed, the insight you gain can help you shape your employee value proposition around key pillars for both existing and prospective employees, and ensure that proposition is grounded in your purpose and business goals. It can also:

  • Help you review or define your values, and ensure they are believable and actionable.
  • Show you areas for improvement across the employee lifecycle and help to inform your people strategy.
  • Help you define a series of ownable, authentic and inspirational messages for your current and future employees.
  • Provide strategic insight to support your internal comms planning and communications.
  • Start to build a currency of trust that will smooth your path to change and ultimately improve your customer experience – as long as you deliver on the insight.

“Employees who trust their business leaders are up to 23 times more likely to be engaged with their organisation and its goals than those who don’t.”

- Dr Andy Brown, Enagage CEO

If you would like to find out more about building a great employee experience, and how doing so can help improve your customer experience, please get in touch – we’d love to help.

In the meantime, you might find our leadership toolkits on leading with purpose, leading with a growth mindset and leading with trust a helpful starting point.


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