5 Principles of Enhancing the Employee Experience and Customer Journey

When we talk about delivering the right customer experience, we tend to focus solely on the customer. However, businesses are taking a closer look at who is involved in delivering those experiences. While it has always been foundational for customer experience practitioners to focus on both the customer and employee journeys in tandem, businesses realize the value behind improving the employee experience to get a customer’s experience right.

Providing a robust experience strategy isn’t about just looking at the customer or your employee, it’s about getting the human strategy right. It means matching wants, needs and motivations. And it means creating moments that are empowering. Above all, it’s about showing each other empathy.

Here are 5 experience principles you can begin today to enhance your customer and employee experience:

  1. Clarity in strategy

When going to a restaurant or on your next road trip, you’ll most likely look up the route you’ll take. You want to know not only how long it will take as well as turn-by-turn directions. It’s the same with your employees. Having clarity in your business strategy is just like a GPS; it lets your team members know what the end goal or destination is — and then plan steps that will advance the strategy.

How this improves your customer experience

When employees are clear on the strategy, they can deliver the right expectations for your customers. With clear expectations, customers become confident and trust your organization. Employees who know the direction for their business also can communicate with honesty to the customer. Even if the outcome isn’t what a customer wants, honesty and integrity in doing business still garner loyalty.

  1. Alignment of values

Have you ever decided to buy a pair of shoes because you found out that brand also donates a pair to underserved populations? Think of how that made you feel. When employees feel good about the core values of a company, they tend to want to stick around. They also become advocates of your brand and are the first to recommend it to their friends and associates. They become more connected to the organization when there’s a shared bond of values. Employees are more productive and willing to go above and beyond if they see this alignment of values as an extension of themselves.

How this improves your customer experience

Word of mouth is a strong attribute; chances are your customers have built a relationship with your employees. When they see your employee advocating on your behalf it helps to strengthen the bond between your brand and your customer — it strengthens their trust in your company. More than likely, you’re aligning to the customer’s values. And that’s a strong attribute to building loyalty with your customer.

  1. Transparency of strategy

It can be frustrating and often disappointing if you get the run around when trying to get a problem solved or receive a different answer depending on the person you speak with. The same goes for your employees. In addition to knowing the clear path to strategy, if companies can’t be transparent about what it takes to get there, you’ll get siloed environments where different parts of the organization don’t know what’s happening with each other. Transparency enables all parts of the organization to work together cohesively, avoiding redundant overlap of work. And it gives employees a clear picture of where their own work has an impact.

How this improves your customer experience

Transparency lets organizations focus on creating seamless experiences. When all parts of an organization are aware of and have visibility into what other teams are doing, silos are eliminated. This gives the customer smoother experiences and clear communication from their account teams on what’s happening. It enables teams to provide honest and more accurate responses that lift the fog of doubt for the customer.

  1. Defined metrics

Think about when you were in school. If you went to a US-based school, you were graded on an A – F rating scale. If you were involved in sports, ratings were either based on time, technique, execution or some combination of these factors. These scales and ratings are metrics —measurements to show how successful an individual is or where they needed to improve. Teachers and coaches helped their pupils define what success looked like based on these metrics. It’s no different in business. Defined metrics help employees know what success looks like and where adjustments can be made to improve. Using methods like objectives and key results (OKR) ensures that employees can focus on the right things, know what it takes to be successful and help companies move the needle toward achieving their strategic goals. And that improves the overall employee experience.

How this improves your customer experience

Customers become the beneficiaries when employees meet their defined goals. Whether it’s an employee who takes continuing education courses to sharpen their skills so that they can provide better expertise to the customer or deliver products and services with the right features at the right time. Metrics give companies the ability to deliver on their brand promise and offer the best experiences consistently.

  1. Show empathy

Customer experience practitioners often espouse the phrase “Walk a mile in another’s shoes.”  But it can be difficult to show that to customers if you don’t put it into practice within your own teams first. Empathy, a key attribute to customer experience, starts with your employees first. When leaders and team members can demonstrate the ability to truly understand each other and take the perspective of another – from tailoring communication styles to each individual to empowering and motivating each other – empathy becomes second nature when interacting with customers.

How this improves your customer experience

The underlying factor between employee experience and customer experience is being human. Empathy is the bond that can build or break your relationships. Regardless of products or services, when we can deeply understand our customers, we can apply those insights in aspects within the business — from processes that are more customer-centric to products that are more user-focused to services that are more human.

When customer and employee experience aligns, magic happens. Consistent experiences are delivered, employees can take the right risks for innovation and you create more advocates for your business — internally among your employees and externally among your customer base. Check out this infographic for more information on how to improve the employee experience, satisfy your customers and provide great customer experiences