This CX Mini Masterclass explains the relationship between employee experience and customer experience. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares 3 examples of the tangible links between EX and CX. If you are looking to understand employee experience as the foundation for customer-centric culture, this episode is for you.
A heightened focus on employee experience
Employee Experience is getting increasing amounts of attention from the CX professional community, and with good reason: it’s a key enabler of CX. Employees are a key pillar of an organization’s operating model – the engine that delivers customer experiences. If the components of the operating model aren’t functioning, can’t work in harmony or aren’t aligned to common goals, then the outcomes suffer.
Understanding the link
This connection might seem abstract, but there are plenty of ways that we can see the tangible link between customer experience and employee experience. The following examples are just 3 of many ways that we see employee experience “shine through”.
- Employees are the face of a brand – When experiences involve an in-person component, the employee or brand representative becomes the face of the brand. As more of our experiences move into the digital realm, these interactions are becoming both fewer and more complex. This means that each in-person interaction has a greater impact within the overall customer journey. It’s not a stretch to understand how employees who feel valued, supported and part of the brand would be more likely to provide a better representation of the brand.
- There is a human behind every customer experience – Digital experiences have to be programmed by someone, and even AI-driven experiences were at some point coded by a person. The intentions, care, and the employee’s level of understanding of the customer will all shine through eventually. This is why it’s important for team members to be engaged with their responsibilities, understand how they are connected to the customer and to feel positive ownership for their contributions. Employee experience is the kernel for this personal accountability.
- Employee experience can support change management – Customers are constantly changing, and CX teams are often responsible for helping businesses evolve to keep pace. Proper change management is critical to success. The book, The Influential Mind (one of my favorite books about influencing CX change), shares results from studies showing that people who feel more comfortable and stable in their environment are more likely to take a leap of faith towards a decision that will be beneficial in the long term, even if that means jeopardizing some immediate gratification. There is a clear connection to CX and change in the workplace. If you are asking a team member to use a new system or try something that is out of their comfort zone – for the benefit of improved CX, they are more likely to do this if they feel safe, secure, and supported in their environment. On the other hand, if team members are preoccupied with possible punishment if they mess up or stressed about other uncertainties in their environment, they are less likely to go along with the suggested change. A positive employee experience provides a stronger foundation for fostering agile teams that are open to being part of, rather than resisting, customer-centric change.
These 3 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Employee experience manifests itself in so many aspects of CX, but hopefully these have sparked some thinking about the important link between the two.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.
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Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including employee engagement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email.