When it comes to superior experience, which comes first? Customers or employees? The answer is simple. BOTH!

A business depends on attracting, engaging, and developing – customers and employees. It’s never one or the other. A great product alone cannot make your customers happy. What will truly make them happy and keep them loyal to their brand will come down to what they experience when they interact with your brand. And the people responsible for that experience are your employees.

Companies that get CX right outperform their peers on customer loyalty (+17 percentage points) and revenues (+11 points).
Forrester Research

Businesses depend on employees to drive successful outcomes for them. Four criteria drive a successful relationship with your customer – attraction, retention, development, and advocacy. These are the same four criteria needed to for businesses to develop and foster a successful relationship with their employees.

There is value in driving a better EX

There’s real business value in creating and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture inside your company. Having dedicated and engaged employees helping to grow the business is essential. As Doug Conant, the CEO of Campbell’s Soup, has been quoted saying, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”

When we look at the macro-level at things like a department’s attrition rate, among other data points, we have the means to take a pulse-check on the quality of the employee experience.

From a financial perspective, we know onboarding new employees is expensive. From an operational perspective, new employees tend to reduce productivity and can produce knowledge gaps.

If there’s a high incidence of attrition within a particular group, critical business functions can even be put at risk. When our most valuable talent walks out the door, it suddenly becomes clear we need not only win the hearts and minds of our customers, but also those of our employees.

How to drive a better EX

We should approach designing for our employees’ experience the same way we would for our customers’ experience; by applying design thinking processes. With this process, we have the opportunity to see things through the eyes of our employees. To get started, work with a cross-functional team to determine where you’ll focus your efforts first. From there, you’re ready to take the first step in the design thinking process.

To improve the employee experience, you need to take the time to walk in their shoes, map out the processes and pain-points, and listen to their ideas about how to make improvements. Empathize and see things from their perspective. Observe their interactions with one another, determine if there are missing skill sets in the team, or even discover the secrets of a high performer.

Companies with highly engaged workforces (EX excellence) are 21 percent more profitable than those with poor engagement.
Forrester Research

Why combine CX and EX

There is little doubt that combining CX and EX is essential to your company’s survival and growth. While you depend on your employees to deliver high-quality CX, your employees rely on you to provide tools and design processes that enable them to serve your customers effectively. This is challenging, as it requires organizational, managerial, and technological changes.

The digital age has led to a high degree of transparency, which has caused products and services to become increasingly commoditized. Customers today expect convenient, predictable, relevant, meaningful, and personalized interactions. Most of all, they wish to choose and even customize their experiences companies offer. If your company fails to meet their elastic expectations, they go looking for it elsewhere – most likely with your competitor.

Companies with great EX outperform Standards & Poor’s (S&P) 500 by 122 percent.
Forrester Research

This paradigm shift has impacted employee expectations too. The digital age has blurred the lines between professional and personal lives. Employees today want the convenient, predictable, relevant, meaningful, and personalized experiences they have outside of their jobs to be carried over to their jobs. The need to offer your employees a culture where they have opportunities to shape their workplace experiences is vital to your company’s long-term success. And it is this happy, empowered, and purpose-driven employees that will shape the customer experience for your company.