Herculean Alliance

The experience equation


The experience equation – According to a research conducted by Forbes Insights and Salesforce, customer experience (CX) is embedded with employee experience (EX) in a complex relationship in which customer experience depends on employee experience to gain maximum results. This research is based upon 3 separate sources: Research, surveys, and interviews. And this all with executives, most of them being C-suite members that work in multi-million-dollar companies.  

Better employee experience leads to better customer experience

One might think customer experience and employee experience are both essential in the volatile business world we are living in today. As a matter of fact, they are, but new research clearly indicates that good employee experience leads to good customer experience which ultimately leads to stronger revenue expansion. Top performers such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix with their high EX and CX are a good example of this. These high-performing companies are growing almost twice as fast as companies with low EX and CX, which translates into $40 million in revenue per year for a $1 billion company.

Next to these numbers, the majority of surveyed executives (70%) agree that improved employee experiences directly lead to improved customer experience. Even more persuasive is that 89% of executives at companies that see themselves as revenue-growth leaders agree that better EX leads directly to better CX. This equation can deliver numerous benefits such as stronger employee and customer loyalty and a workforce which is more open to technology to name a few.

Unfortunately, this equation does not work as a “virtuous circle” in which revenue growth leads to high employee and customer experience.

How can organisations enhance both employee and customer experience?

According to 66% of executives at high-EX companies the best way to boost revenue is to shape operational strategy. This means establishing a value proposition that benefits all the stakeholders. This could be achieved by balancing enhanced CX and EX. These 2 belong together and it is important not to neglect one when focusing on the other.

One way to improve both is to structure incentives around EX and CX, so that they can be fully invested in the success of the company. Another method would be to create mixed teams that combine CX and EX skills, as this will help overcome cultural obstacles to alignment. 

“We have to understand what the shared value proposition is for the employee, the customer and the company, because you can create a lot of positive experiences that really don’t add value.” Christine Hill, global customer experience strategy and measurement leader at Eli Lilly and Co.

COVID-19 is shifting priorities

The current COVID-19 pandemic made it even more clear that companies need to reorganize and strongly focus on improving both EX and CX to be more resilient.  65 % of executives say that customer experience will be among their top 5 priorities in the next 3 years. This means that they need to fundamentally reconsider their way of generating customer experiences. Who thinks about challenges, thinks of opportunities and companies can gain a competitive advantage when this is approached in an intelligent manner. One such way is the ability to work remotely.

According to Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, businesses who prioritize EX, have certain competitive advantages. For example, when employees are forced to work remotely due to a pandemic. This might be why executives say that CX will be a slightly more important strategic goal than EX in the upcoming years. But let’s keep in mind that improving EX is a condition for improving CX. The best ways to do so are to set the right tone at the top and setting up a flexible homework policy.

4 steps to enhance employee and customer experience

According to the Forbes report these 4 steps are necessary to enhance EX and CX in your company.

  1. Aligning strong vision and leadership to your company is critical when aiming for sustainable growth. This growth is can be achieved achieved by finding a common purpose that unifies employees towards a common objective.
  2. Focusing on customer experience by aligning IT and operations strategy by emphasizing more on CX than EX in the next 3 years. This might however hinder the ability to grow fast. Finding the right balance between the 2 is key to improve in both areas and can be supported by using technical solutions.
  3. Encouraging cross-functional teams to improve EX and CX. Make sure not to neglect one when focusing on the other and provide employees with a clear line of sight on how their responsibility contributes to improving EX and CX.
  4. Last but not least, companies should invest in the right technologies to measure EX and CX to provide the expected customer expectations as these are more closely linked to each other than ever before.

Have a look at the entire report here.