It is no longer a point of discussion that any organisation’s success depends on its relationships with its customers and employees. Especially as economies mature towards becoming a service industry, a relentless focus on and alignment between customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) is critical to an organisation’s success.
Companies that spend time ensuring their employees are engaged outperform their competition by 147%. Furthermore, an employee engagement benchmark study says 79% of employees who work at companies with “significantly above average” customer experience in their industry consider themselves “highly” or “moderately” engaged. This compared with only 49% of companies with “average” or “below average” customer experience.
So how are CX and EX related? Providing a good product without a team genuinely buying into your mission is like building an automobile with beautiful exterior and high-tech features but an unreliable engine. Likewise, we cannot take good care of customers unless we take good care of each other. Therefore, EX and CX aren’t all that dissimilar. They both rely on and directly impact each other.
If the “Great Resignation” taught companies anything, not feeling connected to the company’s mission is a common reason for employees to leave. In addition, we face the prospect of an economic downturn or even a mild recession while the recruiting market remains relatively tight. Keeping employees engaged and aligned in this environment is more crucial than ever.
Understand Employee Experience for Business Resiliency
Most of the time, we confuse employee interaction with employee engagement. In all my interactions with successful leaders, I discovered that they have been successful in reaching that pedestal because they built an environment of trust around them. Building trust is the key to employee experience; therefore, you must nurture your employee experience on a foundation of trust. Trust in your leadership and the organization to take care of their growth and learning, which will make your employees move from transactional to resilient. Therefore, critical initiatives focussed on learning and development should be personalised for productivity and leadership, skill development, and career-building.
Harness the power of AI to facilitate EX and, therefore CX
AI is already finding its way to transforming CX. But exploring its application across EX allows organisations to empower their people and delight their customers. CX leaders worldwide face a massive challenge in workforce engagement as they move to a hybrid working model. While employers are looking to improve quality and the overall customer experience, it is crucial to realise that the path to that is to empower and augment their employee interactions through technology. AI can play a significant role in not only understanding the customers better but also relating to the employees.
Employee Loyalty fosters Customer Loyalty
Loyalty is nurtured through recognition and personalisation. Creating a sense of value in the workplace affects retention. Similar thinking can be applied to customers – appreciation tends to reduce customer dropouts. In addition, customers enjoy shopping and user experiences that are tailored to their needs. Finally, customers and employees benefit from personalization, whether in the form of custom purchase options or unique employee benefits options.
The importance of Feedback
Just like companies seek the ‘Voice of the Customer,’ it’s helpful to listen to the ‘Voice of the Employee’ with equal importance. The most successful customer satisfaction campaign metrics are driven by Feedback. Then why not use the same tactics internally? Companies can turn information into improvements across all touchpoints by conducting company surveys consistently and offering opportunities for Feedback. For example, we recently ran an employee engagement survey in our organisation and not just the constructive but positive feedback helped us shape our policies and actions to ensure we continue to do what’s working, stop doing what’s not been recognized or of little value and start doing things that actually matter to our employees.
Ultimately, I would strongly recommend focusing on employee experience with utmost importance. It is not always about the tools we provide but the environment we foster, the feedback we gather, the path we travel together and the collective purpose we define that will drive your organisation’s future and long-term sustainability in any volatile environment.
Since numbers speak to us more than words in the business proposition, the return on investment into employee experience will far exceed the millions spent on enhancing your customer experience. Gartner reports, “Organisations with largely satisfied employees are 48% more likely to achieve customer satisfaction goals, 89% more likely to achieve innovation goals, and 56% more likely to achieve reputation goals.”
Organisations on a steep growth trajectory must power up to simultaneously ignite their EX and CX to achieve their business goals.
This article was written by Anmol Jain, Managing Partner APAC, Infosys Consulting.