Exceptional customer experience (CX) delivers improved customer loyalty, market share, revenues and competitive advantage. It is predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Not only do customers expect superior CX, they demand it. They want personalised, relevant and convenient interactions with brands and if they don’t get it, they walk. In this digital era, as the lines between professional and personal life become blurred, employees too want the seamless, relevant and engaging experiences they have outside of work, to be replicated at work.
Doesn’t it make perfect sense that your Employee Experience (EX) will improve your CX? Your employees are the ones who will deliver your customer experience, it stands to reason that if you give employees options that help them achieve their full potential, they will drive business value.
EX is your workforces’ relationship with your business. It is everything employees encounter, observe or feel over the course of their employee journey at your organisation. It doesn’t mean indoor swings, great coffee and table tennis tables, it goes much deeper than that. It means optimising every touchpoint an employee comes into contact with to create a fully integrated experience impacting everything from your company culture to your bottom line.
This is where internal and external brands converge. As employees are your most likely customers and brand advocates, EX is an essential component of your CX and will deliver similar outcomes. The desired outcome (the brand promise) for CX is brand loyalty and is delivered through customer touchpoints such as online experience, in-store, customer support and community.
The desired outcome for EX is employee engagement and wellbeing throughout their employment lifecycle with you. This is delivered through end-to-end touchpoints such as recruitment and onboarding through to annual reviews and exit procedures. Other vital areas include workplace policies, internal communications, feedback and recognition.
It makes sense then, just as a human-centred approach is used to design your CX, the same approach should be adapted for your EX.
As Design Thinking is human-centred, it can be applied to any process, department or industry involving humans. Not only does applying a Design Thinking approach to EX create more meaningful, engaging experiences for employees, it’s co-creative nature enhances soft skills such as creativity, emotional intelligence and conflict management which are desirable in employees now and in the future world of work.
2018 may have been the the year of the Customer Experience and 2019 is the year of the Employee Experience (Read: Era of the Employee Experience), but the truth is, the two are inextricably linked. Organisations that understand this and allow their employees to thrive will always have the competitive advantage.
Want to know more about using a human-centred approach to engaging employee experiences? Check out Innovating People and Culture.