No employee experience, no customer experience
Date: 05/01/2016
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More and more companies are rushing into improving their customer experience. But who’s delivering this experience to your customers? The quality of your products or services? Yes! The quality of your communication with your customers? Yes! Your co-workers? Yes, again! Not only because employees are the main driver behind the quality of your products, services and customer communications. But also because, more than ever before, more employees have direct interactions with the final customer. So it seems rather obvious that focussing on customer experience without creating the right employee experience would not make a lot of sense.

The influence of digital and organisational evolution

In today’s world, the success of your company is generated by the interactions between your employees and your customers, facilitated by tools and processes. This was already the case yesterday, but some things have fundamentally changed:

  • digital has multiplied the different touch points between your customer and your company, meaning also the number of employees involved in these touch points;
  • digital is pushing the traditional front-end and back-end applications into each other, becoming something like shared platforms, creating an end-to-end visibility of the interactions in these applications to both customers and co-workers;
  • organisations are getting flatter, leaner, giving more responsibilities to co-workers, meaning more of them are involved in a direct customer contact and customer experience.

customer experience and employee experience

In other words, the number of touch points and the surface of connection between your customers and your co-workers have both considerably increased. This being considered, it seems rather obvious that a great customer experience cannot be delivered without a great employee experience. The one goes with the other.

The methods for employee experience are not very different from customer experience

There are several methods which have been developed for the design of customer experience that can be very useful in working on your employee experience. Just as with customer experience, you can develop the proper employee experience by:

  • working with employee personas to have a vivid and realistic representation of the most significant employee groups;
  • mapping the employee journey to understand how it works and what the main moments of truth are;
  • listen to employees and incorporate their feedback into experience and process improvements.

Who’s in charge of employee experience?

Now that we know how important it is to focus on employee experience with at least the same attention as your efforts for customer experience, the question is to know how you will cope with this in your organisation. Number of companies have already designated a  “chief customer experience officer”, but how many have designated a “chief employee experience officer”? Some have made a first effort by designating a “chief happiness officer”, but we are not sure this will put the right focus on what is really important, namely the “delivery” of the interactions between customers and co-workers. Defining the right span of both and how they meet in the core of business is one of the main challenges.

As a conclusion, it is safe to say that building a strong customer experience is inseparable from a strong employee experience. Therefor it is important to formalise the responsibility for employee experience in the organisation, while proven methods from the customer experience development can be very helpful in designing your employee experience.



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I help organisations with communication, change management and collaboration improvement: employee and customer communication, change management and transition communication, collaboration improvement through team coaching, facilitation and digital platforms.