Picture this: After walking into a store, the employees are clearly unhappy, disengaged, and uninterested in helping. How does that feel? Chances are, not very good. Now imagine walking into a store with employees who are engaged, friendly, and eager to assist. That feels better, right?
There is a direct link between employee experience and customer experience. Recent research has shown that companies prioritizing employee experience tend to perform better on customer experience metrics. In other words, happy employees lead to satisfied customers. So when looking to improve customer satisfaction scores, it's time to focus on employee satisfaction scores too.
Customer experience (CX) is the sum total of all customer interactions with a brand—and it is directly influenced by the employee experience (EX). Employees who are empowered and engaged can create positive customer experiences, leading to increased loyalty, improved revenue, and better business outcomes.
The Link Between EX and CX
Employee experience drives customer experience because happy and engaged employees are more likely to provide better customer service and create positive customer experiences. When employees are satisfied with their jobs, they tend to be more productive, more committed to their work, and more likely to go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service. This, in turn, leads to better customer experiences, increased customer loyalty, and improved business results.
On the other hand, when employees are unhappy, overworked, or feel undervalued, they are more likely to be disengaged from their work and less likely to provide high-quality customer service. This can result in negative customer experiences, lower customer satisfaction, and decreased revenue and profits for the business.
Therefore, organizations must focus on creating a positive employee experience. This can be done through methods such as providing competitive salaries and benefits, fostering a supportive work environment, providing opportunities for growth and development, and recognizing and rewarding good performance. By doing so, businesses can ensure their employees are motivated and engaged, leading to better customer experiences and improved business outcomes.
Empowering Employees to Improve CX
Providing exceptional customer service is no longer optional but necessary for businesses to survive and thrive. Creating a great CX is not just the responsibility of the customer service team but of the entire organization, from the leadership team to the front-line employees.
Encouraging Collaboration and Communication Among Employees to Improve CX
Collaboration and communication are crucial elements in creating a positive employee experience, which in turn leads to better CX. When employees are encouraged to work together and communicate effectively, they can share knowledge, best practices, and ideas that can help improve CX. Enabling collaboration and communication also helps to break down silos and enhance cross-functional understanding, leading to a more unified approach to delivering excellent CX.
One way to encourage collaboration and communication is by fostering a supportive team environment that promotes open communication, active listening, and feedback sharing. Companies can also provide team-building activities and opportunities for cross-functional training to help employees build stronger relationships and work together more effectively.
Providing Employees with the Necessary Tools and Resources to Improve CX
Another way to empower employees to improve CX is by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to do their jobs effectively. This includes access to customer data, customer feedback, training and development opportunities, and the latest technology and software. By providing employees with the necessary tools and resources, companies can ensure they can provide the best CX possible.
For example, providing employees with customer feedback and data can help them better understand customer needs and preferences, enabling them to tailor their approach and deliver personalized experiences. Investing in the latest technology and software can also streamline processes, reduce wait times, and provide customers with a more efficient and effective service.
Challenges and Solutions for Driving CX through EX
One of the biggest challenges in driving CX through EX is a lack of employee engagement. This can be due to insufficient support, inadequate training, and missing career development opportunities. To overcome this challenge, companies should invest in employee engagement initiatives such as employee recognition programs, career development plans, and opportunities for employee feedback.
Another challenge is a lack of a customer-centric culture. This can be due to a lack of leadership buy-in, siloed departments, and ineffective communication. To overcome this challenge, companies should focus on aligning all departments toward a shared customer experience vision. This means involving all employees in CX initiatives, providing regular training, and setting measurable CX goals.
Continuously Improving EX to Maintain CX
Struggling to create a compelling employee experience strategy? Developing a framework that truly resonates with the workforce can be challenging, especially when things are constantly changing. There are three key elements to focus on to design a winning EX strategy. By adopting a growth mindset and breaking down the approach into these simple components, one can create personalized experiences that will keep employees engaged and happy.
First, discover the moments that truly matter to employees. It's not enough to assume what the workforce wants—collect regular feedback from them at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Doing so will pinpoint the most critical areas for employees and tailor EX strategy accordingly.
Next, focus on making the company culture, technology, and physical workplace the best they can be. These are the building blocks of a positive employee experience, and they all play a crucial role in keeping the workforce engaged and motivated.
Finally, don't be afraid to broaden the traditional HR team functions to recognize the importance of customer experience. After all, employee experience directly impacts customer experience, so it's essential to keep this in mind while designing an EX strategy. By adopting a holistic approach that considers the needs of both employees and customers, one can create a winning strategy that will set their business apart from the rest.
Shake things up and use regular pulse surveys and open feedback platforms instead of outdated annual performance reviews. Doing so, will give a real-time understanding of employees' issues, allowing improvement.
But it's not just about collecting data—it’s about improving employee experience and driving better business outcomes. That means always asking two critical questions whenever reviewing results: What did we learn, and what improvements are we making? Staying laser-focused on these questions will ensure that efforts drive positive change.
So don't settle for the same old employee engagement surveys—switch things up and start using pulse surveys and open feedback platforms. Employees will appreciate it and the benefits will show in better engagement, productivity, and improved business outcomes.
Creating an EX Strategy
The Andrew Reise team collaborated with a valued client to develop an employee experience strategy to cultivate engaged and committed employees—helping them form emotional connections with customers.
In pursuit of this goal, our team conducted industry research and developed an end-to-end employee lifecycle to assess current state issues and opportunities. Strategic recommendations were then formulated and grouped into platforms focusing on crucial capabilities such as talent selection and assessment, career pathing, culture evolution, change readiness, customer engagement, employee engagement, performance standards, onboarding, learning, employee rewards, HR systems, and social media.
The resulting implementation roadmap was presented to the head of HR and other executive stakeholders—with approximately 40 percent of the initiatives already implemented or in progress. This employee experience strategy played a pivotal role in our client's successful brand launch and continues to shape its evolving employee and customer experience.
At Andrew Reise Consulting, we offer a team of highly skilled and experienced senior business consultants who can seamlessly integrate into a company’s culture. Our team becomes a vital extension of the leadership organization, delivering innovative solutions, strategic insights, and top-tier leadership to tackle the most complex and challenging initiatives. We pride ourselves on providing a multi-talented team of experts dedicated to helping clients succeed with their employee experience efforts.
See How Employee Experience Upgrades Reshaped One Business’s Future
When a large telecommunications provider reached out to us, it already had solid brand promises laid out. However, it knew it’d never live up to those promises if it didn’t back them with the right employees and the right behaviors. Read the Employee Experience Strategy Success Story to see how we built a full employee experience strategy that positioned the organization to deliver better CX.