7 Ways to Align Employee Experience (EX) with Customer Experience (CX)
If you’re aware of the term EX (Employee Experience) then you must know how significantly it contributes to CX (Customer Experience). A report released by Cambridge-based research and advisory firm Forrester in 2021 asserted how EX is a key contributor to the improvement in CX.
Another study conducted by Forbes Insights found that nearly seven out of every ten executives who took part in it said that improved EX leads to improved CX. The same study also stated that companies that invest their time, resources, and efforts to enhance EX and CX register over two-fold growth in their revenues.
In this blog post, we have discussed both terms in brief as well as listed seven effective steps to align EX with CX. Read on to gain valuable insights.
What is EX?
EX or Employee Experience is a business function focused on monitoring how employees act, feel, or think during every stage of their journey within an organization.
Various leading industry experts define EX is the following ways-
As per Josh Bersin, the founder and president of research and advisory firm Bersin & Associates, EX is an organization-wide initiative that enables employees to stay engaged, productive, and healthy. It’s no longer an HR project but a company-wide strategy.
As per The RBL Group’s Co-founder and Principal Dave Ulrich, EX has become a crucial element of work experience as employees find meaning in their work, learn and grow, and connect with others.
EX is a massive driver of engagement. Various studies have found that organizations that have engaged and motivated employees perform far better than their competitors in all areas.
What is CX?
As the name suggests, customer experience (CX) is the feelings, opinions, and responses of customers after they interact with a business or its products and services.
To put it simply, it is the total interactions customers have with the brands and employees who serve them. It includes everything starting from the experience of receiving goods or services, to ordering online, interacting with sales and service representatives, paying for products and services through a payment gateway, or sharing feedback about the product or service itself.
According to Jes Kirkwood, a noted content marketing, social media, and SEO expert, CX is one of the two core pillars of customer retention. It gives a tremendous competitive advantage.
Now, the question comes, “How is CX related to EX?”
No doubt customers’ experiences define a brand. But the experience is delivered by employees. If the EX is not taken care of, it can negatively impact CX in various ways. That’s why aligning EX with CX is extremely critical for customer-facing businesses, especially organizations that have a customer service department and run dedicated contact centers.
7 ways to align EX with CX
EX and CX are inseparable. They are two sides of the same coin. By aligning EX with CX, organizations can drive employee engagement and satisfaction, create more meaningful customer experiences, as well as a more unified organizational culture. Here are a few ways to go about it:
Assess the impact of aligning EX with CX
Aligning EX with CX should be the foundation of your business objectives. That’s why you must assess the impact of the alignment extremely methodically. Instead of determining the success metrics of both EX and CX in isolation, make sure that you track their mutual benefits. Consider adopting a dual metric strategy, in which you can easily measure any considerable change to an EX based on the insights of CX.
To measure the changes, take feedback from customers and employees. Apart from that, measure the changes in performance metrics such as productivity, customer satisfaction, and sales. It will enable you to understand if the changes have a positive or negative effect on both the EX and CX.
Facilitate communication between departments
To align EX with CX, do whatever it takes to facilitate interdepartmental communication. When various departments within an organization have open communication and a high degree of transparency, then all employees know what they must do to contribute towards a common goal and are on the same page. That enables them to collaborate in a much more efficient and effective manner.
Interdepartmental communication boosts employee satisfaction and productivity in multiple ways. It also enables employees to understand customer needs and preferences in a much better manner. This ultimately encourages employees to provide exceptional customer experience.
Integrate EX and CX efforts into your business’s core
Make sure that all EX and CX initiatives within your business are closely aligned with the organization’s core values, goals, and objectives. Only that would ensure the initiatives are successful and have a lasting impact.
Integrating both EX and CX efforts into your business’s core also ensures that your organization is focused on the right initiatives.
Foster an environment of collaboration and innovation
Even as innovation is indispensable for every organization’s long-term growth and strategic advantage, it’s extremely crucial for the experience of both employees and customers. That’s why, to align EX and CX, you need to stimulate an environment of innovation.
Apart from that, you need to focus on the collaboration between your employees and customers. After all, they are the partners in your business’s success. When employees and customers work together, they can create a more unified and positive experience.
Nurture a customer-centric mindset
A customer-centric approach refers to a framework that focuses on positive customer experience at each customer journey stage. The best way to foster a customer-centric mindset is to focus on employees. According to the legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson, employees come first and if you take care of your employees they will take care of the customers.
Therefore, to ensure EX is aligned with CX, nurture a customer-focused culture. Encourage your employees to think like customers, and to put the customer’s needs at the center of their work.
Link EX and CX programs
The first step to having a high employee experience and customer experience program is to link EX and CX programs. Make sure that employees understand the customer’s journey and the impact their work has on the customer experience.
Employees should also be aware of the company’s customer service goals and strategies. They should be aware of customer feedback, customer surveys, and customer experience metrics that the company is tracking.
Additionally, provide employees with the training and resources they need to understand the customer experience and how their work impacts it. By doing this, employees will be able to understand the customer’s perspective and provide better service.
Encourage employees to provide feedback on their own customer experience, as well as ways they think the company could improve the customer experience. Finally, provide employees with recognition and rewards when they make a positive impact on the customer experience.
According to Steve Jobs, organizations must start with the customer experience and work their way back toward technology. It must never be vice versa. To add just a minor thing to the statement, customer-facing businesses need to start with employee experience and customer experience, and they must leverage technology to create a seamless experience for both employees and customers alike.
That’s exactly what Unified Communication (UC) does. It enables employees to collaborate and communicate with each other as well as with customers, irrespective of their location and time zone. Moreover, unifying communication can streamline customer interactions and help customers easily access all information they need.
As EX heavily influences CX, the latter cannot reach its full potential if it doesn’t consider the former. That’s why organizations must focus on employees and their overall experience to enhance customers’ experience. That’s where the role of effective communication and collaboration is extremely crucial.
At HoduSoft, we provide sophisticated UC solutions that can be easily integrated with an organization’s existing IT infrastructure. Apart from improving customer service, increasing employees’ productivity, and reducing costs, our high-quality and cost-effective communication solutions also help in optimizing costs.