Looking for the missing link to improve Customer Experience? We found it.
//Note: This blogpost is also available in german.//
Summary: 66% of business executives agree that shaping operational strategy to enhance Customer Experience (CX) is the best way to boost revenue1forbes-insight experience-equation final-report.pdf. While similarly, business leaders claim that Customer Experience (65%) and Employee Experience (EX; 47%) will be in their top 5 priorities.
These statistics point to organizations understanding that for success, the relationship between your employees and customers are inextricably linked. To drive success, organizations need to focus on how the EX can be used to drive CX and, in turn, drive revenue.
In 2022, business growth for mid-sized businesses in Germany has never been more important
In today’s challenging economy, it goes without saying that ensuring a positive Customer Experience is more important than ever to grow your business, but where does Employee Experience fall within the picture of increased business success? Business leaders across the globe are asking:
- How does EX impact my company’s bottom line?
- Overall, how I ensure growth during this uncertain time?
In many cases, the most basic response from organizations is to focus on driving sales or reducing overhead costs, while more sophisticated companies will take measures to improve Customer Experience. These are both important components to success, but more innovative leadership is thinking outside the CX box and looking inward to Employee Experience.
Executives aiming to drive stronger revenue numbers are largely in agreement that EX has a critical role in the success of their business, and they are paying attention to this metric in terms of how they set their priorities and shape their organizational strategy.
In fact, 66% of business executives agree that shaping operational strategy to enhance Customer Experience is the best way to boost revenue2forbes-insight experience-equation final-report.pdf. While similarly, business leaders claim that Customer Experience (65%) and Employee Experience (47%) will be in their top 5 priorities. This shapes an important link between the two metrics.
Exploring the importance of Employee Experience
You might be asking yourself, “I am familiar with Customer Experience (CX), but what is Employee Experience?” One definition is:
„Employee experience is defined as a set of psycho cognitive sentiments about the experiential benefits of employment“3„Abhari, K., Saad, N. M., & Haron, M. S. (2008). Enhancing Service Experience through Understanding: Employee Experience Management. International Seminar on Optimizing Business Research and Information Technology.Jakarta“. Employee experience is formed when an employee interacts with careers’ elements (e.g. firms, supervisors, coworkers, customer, environment, etc.) that affect his or her cognition and attitudes and leads to particular behaviors related to the employee's job and company.4Madjar, N., Oldham, G. R., and Pratt, M. G. 2002. „Theres no place like home?: The contributions of work and non-work sources of creativity support to employees creative performance“, Academy of Management Journal, Vol 45, pp. 757–767.
But what does EX really mean, and how does EX relate if at all to customer experience?
The connection between Employee and Customer Experience
According to an article in Forbes, Customer Experience is described as the “cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints” over the course of a customer's interaction with an organization.5Zwilling, Mark (10 March 2014). „‚Customer Experience‘ Is Today's Business Benchmark“
These customer touchpoints are all made up of some iteration of employee/customer interactions, even if these are done virtually and/or with automation. This assembly of interactions is called the Customer Lifecycle, which demonstrates the ideal customer journey with an organization. So the real question is, what is the relationship between EX and CX given that at the end of the day, employee, and customer interaction is happening at every step of the customer journey, not just meetings, virtual or otherwise.
According to a 2020 Forbes Insight report6forbes-insight experience-equation final-report.pdf, when presented with the question, does employee satisfaction help drive positive customer experiences:
- 89% of executives at revenue-growth leaders agree that better EX leads directly to better CX
- 70% of all executives agree that better EX leads to better CX
- 33% of all executives agree that better CX leads to better EX
Based on those findings, it is easy to conclude that focusing on both elements is the best way to drive success in a company which then, in turn, drives revenue. In fact, based on the above-mentioned research when asked directly if CX drives revenue growth, 54% of executives at sales leaders agree that it does.
How to include Employee Experience in your Customer Experience strategy
First, the most critical point for any organization is to ensure there is a clear leadership vision and that this vision is understood at every level of the organization.
- Regarding your employees, knowing how to be personally successful is one of the most important elements of EX and can make or break a company’s success. An employee that is well versed in the company mission can more confidently articulate this outwardly to customers, which in turn builds customer confidence in the products.
Second, organizations that invest in tools that focus on modern and personalized Customer Lifecycle Management, see an increase in customer satisfaction.
- Modern Marketing Automation solutions allow for:
- Personalized messaging to ensure higher open rates and improved engagement
- Consolidation of multiple channels to ensure a cohesive and easy to manage engagement strategy
- Improved and consolidated data collection that helps organizations make better decisions on where to spend marketing budgets
- Connection to customer relationship management to get a more complete picture of customers
Finally, get the right tools for your employees to make the most of their time and talent. Tools today need to be modern, accessible from anywhere, and deliver a user experience that your employees see in their private lives (so no black and green screens). Tools that engage and empower teams yield far better return on investment than tools that make life for employees harder. This is a critical component of EX and in turn, drives CX. For example, on a sales team, the following tools are critical:
- Modern, flexible customer relationship management that meets your sales team where they are: in the office at a desktop, at home on a laptop, or on a mobile device when they are on the road is the heartbeat of every successful sales organization
- Cloud based email that is flexible to integrate to your CRM, so salesperson to customer communications are not trapped in inboxes but consolidated and transparent for a seamless customer experience if the team changes.
- Easy to use collaboration tools to keep your team connected from anywhere make team sales easier and improve employee morale.
Gaining the EX/CX Advantage
Engaging your workforce has always been important but perhaps now, more than ever, and connecting your EX to your CX will most certainly create an advantage that should not be missed out upon.
At APTLY we use a combination of in depth process analysis and best in class technology to drive success for our customers. Using tools like Salesforce CRM, Marketing Cloud, and Slack, we help companies achieve their goals across the customer life cycle.
- 3„Abhari, K., Saad, N. M., & Haron, M. S. (2008). Enhancing Service Experience through Understanding: Employee Experience Management. International Seminar on Optimizing Business Research and Information Technology.Jakarta“
- 4Madjar, N., Oldham, G. R., and Pratt, M. G. 2002. „Theres no place like home?: The contributions of work and non-work sources of creativity support to employees creative performance“, Academy of Management Journal, Vol 45, pp. 757–767.
- 5Zwilling, Mark (10 March 2014). „‚Customer Experience‘ Is Today's Business Benchmark“