We’re Stepping Up Customer Experience, But What About Employee Experience?
Undeniably, happy and engaged employees create better customer experiences, which lead to more satisfied and loyal customers and, ultimately, brand and company growth. But how can brands take the right steps to raise employee experience?
February 28th, 2020
Author: Benoit Soucaret
Across all sectors, most agree that the marketing department is often one of the most agile and reactive parts of a business. Essentially, marketing is built upon internal and/or external parties quickly and successfully implementing projects on a company-wide scale. In marketing alone, projects can change the entire direction of a brand.
Between 2010 and 2020, the proliferation of analytics, mobile technologies, and artificial intelligence has caused a seismic shift within marketing and eCommerce. The reach, universality and sheer potential of digital experiences today is something we simply could not have foreseen ten or even five years ago.
While consumer and business technologies have rapidly evolved, bringing new functionality and a more seamless experience – think headless commerce, social media, voice technologies and augmented reality – one crucial factor is regularly ignored, and that is the experience of the professionals actually delivering these services.
Unquestionably, happy and engaged employees will, in-turn, create better customer experiences. And this will invariably lead to more satisfied and loyal customers which, ultimately, benefits brand and the growth of the business. Therefore ‘employee experience’ is part of a virtuous cycle, good for both the workforce and for profit margins.
From our expertise in building high-quality digital and physical user experiences and customer experiences, we know that these require robust structure, methodology, and process. This allows us to curate elegant front-end experiences that cope with the multi-faceted and multi-modal journey of modern consumers, with back-end architecture and support to ensure they deliver consistently across every channel at all times.
Employees’ wants and needs are essentially no different.
Employee experience (EX) is somewhat subjective, being fundamentally about dynamic human interactions, which are notoriously difficult to measure. Furthermore, EX is increasingly focused on the individual, not simply the organization broadly, which makes it difficult to develop a strategy.
These challenges mirror those seen in marketing. However, the introduction of digital technology has made the field vastly more objective. So, what lessons can be learnt from CX that translate and can be implemented into EX?
So, how do companies build a good employee experience?
The best websites have a clear strategy for customer experience. Who is it targeted at? What journey do we want them to follow? Why should it engage users? How it is going to do so?
The same level of critical thinking must be applied to those developing and managing an employee experience project. Who is going to run it? What technology is going to be used? Why is it the best option? How will the development process be carried out?
Having clarity in every stage of the process helps employees understand the value of their work and helps guide all subsequent decisions.
Who is responsible for EX and UX? An external company may create the website, but it has a huge number of stakeholders, who have varied inputs and contrasting aims. Even though organizations hold differing opinions on who is responsible, one thing holds true. Each entity must be made accountable for their actions and results.
And throughout the process, clarity here is the key. Digital projects are far from certain and often run into unexpected roadblocks. Therefore, communication comes to the fore – creating a dynamic, flexible comms plan is the key to keeping momentum and confidence.
Many of us will be aware of the saying ‘what gets measured is what gets done.’ This often holds true, especially when it comes to employee usability. An organization’s measurement approach — and its relative level of sophistication — will not only dictate what they know, but even how they can go about improving. This is why it’s critical to have an aligned measurement approach.
For all digital transformation projects, metrics must be determined from the outset so that success or failure can be clearly and continually assessed. Mapping this from the beginning is imperative, there’s no chance it will get off the ground or succeed without clear value.
Employee and customer experience are tangibly linked, but beyond sophisticated analytics, organizations need to rethink their existing experience silos. The ability to manage a project must be brought in line.
Perhaps experience in itself will be the common denominator that starts blurring the lines on traditional roles and pushes the envelope to a new way of thinking: an experience mentality that recognizes and properly reflects the notion that happy employees truly perform.
Author: Benoit Soucaret, Creative Director, LiveArea EMEA
Benoit leads the creative and customer experience design team, with experience in creating and curating world-class digital experiences across a variety of retail verticals, including health and beauty, fashion and luxury. He works strategically through the lens of the brand, and with creative, content, and technology teams, fuses the art and science of digital commerce.