How Employee Experience Impacts Customer Experience

employee experience

Customer experience is a major deciding factor in how a customer engages with an organisation. Good customer experience, including great customer service, is paramount to encourage loyalty and discourage customer churn. However, whilst it may seem obvious, the link between Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) is something that doesn’t get a lot of airtime – businesses tend to pool all their resources into one or the other. They don’t consider uniting the two experiences and addressing what they really are: Human Experiences.

We have heard the quotes advocating the importance of employee experience such as “happy employees make happy customers” (Forbes) or “take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers” (J.W Marriot). But have we really focused on how insight into the employee can lead to further insight into the customer?

The Temkin Group found that leading CX companies have 60% more engaged employees. In an organisation where an employee meets customer, an employee’s passion or happiness for the company they work for translates through the service they provide.  

Let’s take Starbucks for example. Starbucks constantly tops lists as one of the best workplaces and they also do very well on the sales front too. Starbucks is a good example of a company that treats its employees well. They provide perks such as health insurance for part-time US staff and cover tuition fees for personal development. A 2014 study covered in Adweek found that 87% of customers’ affinity towards Starbucks is driven by the way the company treats its employees [1]. Corey DuBrowa, SVP of global communications at Starbucks told Adweek “When we do the right thing for our employees, it’s also the right thing for our business. When employees are satisfied and engaged, the result is deeper customer connections and an elevated Customer Experience.”

Another example of a company who have recognised the link between the Employee Experience and the Customer Experience is Zappos. The US online shoe retailer is known for forming connections with their customers through their customer contact centre. Zappos has instilled a “Customer First” culture amongst its employees. They hold “culture camps” and fun-filled activities and away days for their employees. When employees feel valued by and connected to the brand they work for, they want to do a good job, which then translates as fantastic customer service.

What companies can learn from these leaders in Human Experience (HX) is that companies need to understand what motivates their employees. So how do you do this?

It’s simple, ask them. 

You can uncover key insights into your Employee Experience and engagement through employee surveys, focus groups or interviews. Only by talking to your employees can you truly understand what is important to them and what motivates them to deliver for your business.

Employees can be an important source of information for your business, they often have ideas and insight into how to improve customer experience or make operational processes more efficient.

Emotion analysis can help extract key actionable insights from employee verbatim, whether this is from a survey or any text. Emotion is key to every Human Experience whether that is the employee or the customer. Adoreboard Emotics can drill down into the language used to garner a clear understanding of the emotions expressed whether they be joy, interest or anger. When an employer is armed with the knowledge of what is driving negative emotions within their workforce (and the reasons behind these emotions), they can do something about it.

Employees are a key part of creating a seamless end to end Customer Experience and whilst segmenting experiences into CX and EX may seem the most efficient way of doing things, businesses must place Human Experience at the top of their agenda. So next time you’re considering your CX strategy, think about employees too. Take a trip down to the HR department, find a friendly face, grab a coffee and suggest working together on a more holistic, unified Human Experience.


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