3 Steps to Create a Total Experience

Start the new year off right by connecting your customer and employee experiences.

Yin and yang. Coffee and cream. Some things clearly go together. This article is about two things that go together and are not so obvious.

Historically, employee experience and customer experience have been treated as separate functions. One is about attracting and retaining talent. the other, building customer loyalty. One is under the purview of the CHRO. the other, the lead customer.

Cooperation between the two was minimal, and there was also tension. Adhering to ideas like “the customer is always right” or being completely customer-centric means serving your customers first and employees second.

However, a growing body of research suggests that companies that break down these silos have a serious advantage. Organizations that combine employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) into a total experience (TX) can increase revenue, improve the quality of their products and services, and advance their strategic goals.

As a ServiceNow lead customer and partner, I’m a firm believer that EX drives CX—and vice versa.

Done right, a purpose-driven EX accelerates CX because employees feel connected to customers and that their work has meaning. And employees who feel connected are more likely to stay. A poorly constructed EX sinks CX and tempts employees to seek career opportunities elsewhere.

Companies that understand the power of TX don’t see EX and CX as separate functions. They manage them jointly and encourage collaboration. They understand that the degree to which their employees feel connected to customers and empowered to do right by them makes a huge difference in CX.

So how do you create an overall experience? Follow these three steps:

Listen strictly to both sides

It all starts with listening. Set up listening posts at critical points in both customer and employee journeys. Include CX in your employee surveys. Create customer advisory boards to make sure you’re hearing, loud and clear, what’s on your customers’ minds. The point is, you can’t organize your efforts without a clear picture of where the opportunities are.

Align experiences

Start with your company’s purpose. It resonates with customers and employees; Next, determine what great CX and EX look like in your company. For example, ServiceNow has defined its ideal customer experience as “frictionless, enjoyable and valuable”. Finally, connect employee and customer feedback loops. Democratize customer insights within your organization so that every employee feels connected to what customers feel and experience.

I take action

Integrate CX into your company culture. ServiceNow recently held its first employee-led CX Day. It was an opportunity for employees to see the world through the eyes of our customers by hearing what they care about directly from them. Help your employees understand that each customer’s experience is the sum of all touchpoints and the impressions they leave.

Act on the insights you gather, either by empowering employees and the tools they need to do right by customers or launching company-wide initiatives based on what you glean from customer listening posts.

The more we integrate CX and EX, the more we realize that TX is and will continue to be the driver of our success. And it can drive yours too.

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