Why Employee Experience is Critical to Customer Experience

Most companies have invested heavily in using technology to improve customer experience (CX) — customer journey, engagement processes, support functions, and more create a seamless user experience for customers from the outside-in. However, the employee experience is often an afterthought. Each “seamlessly” integrated user interaction leaves an employee on the other side, connecting applications, managing relationships, and working overtime to make CX the best it can be. Employee experience (EX) includes the “moments that matter” when employees interact with customers, products, and technology. It’s not just HR policies, but the actual lived experience of doing the job – and it’s inextricably linked to your CX.

In a recent episode of the Outthinkers Podcast, Tiffani Bova, global growth evangelist and business strategist for Salesforce, author, and keynote speaker, discussed the crucial role employees play in shaping a brand’s CX and how revamping EX can significantly impact a company’s growth.

Listen to the episode now.

The Overlooked Employee Experience

Tiffani emphasizes the often-underestimated importance of employees in delivering on a brand’s CX promise. As companies have invested billions to improve their customers’ digital experience, most employees now need five to ten interfaces to do their job. According to Tiffani’s research, only 20 percent of employees believe that the technology they’re using allows them to collaborate effectively, and be more productive and efficient at their job. She highlights that while strategies, vision statements, and taglines are essential, they don’t directly solve customer problems, sell products, or design services—people do. Yet in most companies, there is no true owner of employee experience. Unfortunately, many companies have poured substantial resources into enhancing the customer experience while inadvertently neglecting the employee experience.

EX Impact on CX and Growth

Tiffani’s research into the realm of EX started when she was writing her first book, Growth IQ, and recognized a correlation between exceptional employee experiences and a company’s growth. Companies that excelled in both customer and employee experiences achieved a 1.8 times faster Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) compared to those that did not. When customers were happier, employees were, too, and vice versa. She found that if both were true, it produced a multiplier effect.

Adopting an EX Mindset

Elevating EX requires a broad cultural mindset shift, that requires embedding EX considerations into every CX decision. Tiffani recommends three practical steps:

  1. Create KPIs for EX: For every KPI related to CX, ensure you have a corresponding KPI for EX. Designate who will be responsible for owning and tracking EX.

  2. Align Executive Compensation: Consider tying executive compensation to both customer and employee KPIs to motivate leadership to prioritize both areas equally.

  3. Survey Employee Friction: Incorporate tangible questions into employee satisfaction surveys that focus on identifying friction points in their daily work. This information will help guide targeted improvements.

When done right, EX and CX feed into a virtuous cycle. Happier, more enabled employees lead to happier customers. In turn, happier customers create more engaged employees. But it starts with taking the employee experience as seriously as the customer experience.

Listen to the full interview.

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