A strong relationship between Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) matters. When they work together, EX can drive CX to success. Developing EX strategies and reevaluating them periodically is as critical as doing so for CX.
Customer experience is a customer’s entire journey with your brand. CX all comes down to how a person feels about the experience of interacting with your company. When someone has a great customer experience, you are delivering your promise, providing a valuable product or service and creating an enjoyable experience with your customer across every touchpoint.
Employee experience is an employee’s entire journey with your business. How do your employees feel about working for your company? Do they relate to the values? Do they feel a sense of belonging with their team members? Are they empowered? When someone has a great employee experience, they’re much more likely to contribute to an exceptional customer experience.
Here are some examples of important practices to keep in mind when intertwining the two concepts.
The ability to understand feelings is important, but being able to also share those feelings and listen to the emotion of their needs and doubts is essential. Leaders should have a natural sense of how their people are doing and how their customers are doing, but they should also go out of their way to hear people out. If your own team isn’t feeling heard or important, your customers aren’t going to either.
Allow your employees and your customers to speak their minds without judgment or interruption. Empathetic listening is a handy skill to master for any leader. Instead of silently drumming up your next talking point while someone else is leading a conversation, try asking clarifying questions, holding eye contact and repeating key points.
Being open enough to divulge your own concerns and fears with customers and employees is also okay and shows you’re human. Relatability is always powerful. If people trust you, they’re more likely to feel comfortable brainstorming new ideas and providing honest feedback.
Inquisitive minds lead the way
Ask questions and openly show curiosity to your customers and employees. Pompous superiority and arrogant braggarts have no place in an innovative business. No one knows everything and we all have something we can learn from each other.
Show genuine interest in your employees and customers to avoid getting stale. The more you know about your employees and customers, the better you will be equipped to direct and lead. Managers should check in with their teams to ask how they are doing, what challenges they are facing and what concerns they have. This reinforces the relationship between the business and employees.
Be sure to ask customers about how you can improve so they can be more successful in the future. Evolve your business toward your customers or risk losing them.
Be a good human
Does your business follow traditional employee policies, such as limited sick leave and minimal vacation time? Are you giving with PTO and understanding of childcare issues? Being generous in your approach to employee policies creates a better employee experience. Pay back the employees who work hard for you by maintaining good faith and goodwill.
This goes for your customers, too. Do you go out of your way to go the extra mile? Are you willing to throw in some discounts when times are hard? Do you offer things like free virtual events that are of value to your clients? In the case of promising business relationships, nice guys certainly don’t finish last.