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A true story of how Employee Experience impacts the Customer Experience

Posted: Jan 21, 2021
Read time: 5 minutes
#Employee Experience
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I would like to start from the basics, so if you were to ask me what is the connection between EX & CX? My simple answer will be “lead by example” or my deeper answer will be “Human Experience”.

You might think that I’m just talking in slogans, so in order to set the mood to allow me to share a personal story; this one I call “Dad Vs. Mam".

In one of the professional self-exploration exercises I did, I was asked to draw a table of my parents’ characters, one column for each parent and write down their characters.

So, in my confident mode I started writing, my Dad is stubborn (when he wants or thinks something you cannot win)! My Mam is sharp (I cannot hide anything from her once I enter the room, she sees me)!

Not giving it to it too much thought, about 60 seconds into the exercise it hit me!

As an individual, I always thought that I was different from my parents. But what hit me is the fact that my parent’s characters, those which I put on paper were actually those that I share with them! What’s funny is they didn’t specifically coach me to exhibit the same behaviours.

Now have a look from the parent’s perspective… How many times have you seen your own (not so positive) behaviour reflected back at you from your children? You might swear that you never taught them to do that or even the opposite. 

As people, we inherit some of our values and behaviour from the family environment.

Whatever consciously or subconsciously, it’s the examples we see, and the reference point we have that influence the way we think and behave.

Similarly, the work environment has its own influence on us as employees. We are set examples by our managers, our experience as employees provides us with a reference of behaviour, we adopt work values and ethics from within the organization; sometimes aligning and sometimes not.

And like every child when our parents tell us what to do, we ask why should we? People need to know why and what’s in it for me?

Benjamin franklin true story employee experience impacts customer experience blog

The way we treat our employees (and the way they experience the organization) will influence their behaviour on the deepest level

Now that we have established that, let’s do the connection to CX. One of the building blocks of a CX strategy is organizational culture; and central to that is people: employees, management and human behaviour.

When embracing CX, organizations tend to focus on technology. Don’t get me wrong, Digital Transformation is a major advantage in unlocking better experiences, but we can’t ignore that our employees influence the customer experience. Most obvious are direct touchpoints in roles such as sales, engineers or customer service support, representing our brand facing the customer. But what about our colleagues, who help influence, define and design the customer journey (finance, procurement, marketing, HR, senior management, etc.), the entire organization needs to embrace and align in the same behaviour.

Technology is great, processes are excellent, but people are at the heart of our business.
As much as we try to deliver a consistent customer experience, we cannot predict all scenarios and when the unexpected hits, we rely on our employees to ensure the delivery of excellent experiences by bringing their own unscripted selves.

The more I lead Change Management projects over the years, the more I understand that our employees are also consumers of the brand experience.

From my perspective, the CX trailblazers (such as Amazon and Apple) set a high experience standard. Once a consumer experiences that level of personalization, the expectation is set in all walks of life, whether you are in the office, home or a shop. That person has not changed simply by walking through a different door.

We are looking for the full human experience in everything that we do. Why should that sense of belonging or need be only confined to one’s personal life? Doesn’t make sense to expect otherwise.

We (people) want to have a good reason to follow the company; to have a purpose, we see the organization as one of the ways we can fulfil our potential, validate our values and on the way, we expect exceptional service.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been around since 1943, so don’t blame it on the millennials. It isn’t “entitlement” to expect to be validated as an employee, just as it isn’t when the same person is considered a customer to another brand. It’s the same person!

What am I saying? In short, if you want your organization to become truly customer-centric you should embrace the people-centric culture and focus on the human experience: customers, employees and partners.

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