Balancing CX and EX for Growth
- CX and EX. Balancing customer and employee experiences is key to sustainable business growth.
- Mindset shift. Successful CX requires an integrated approach encompassing people, process, technology and culture.
- Collaborative strategy. Advisory boards of employees can identify and resolve key organizational friction points.
Recently, I had the chance to sit with thought leader Tiffani Bova and examine the state of customer experience. We explored why excelling in CX relies on organizations managing what she called the unintended consequence for employees. Her thoughts here should be valuable to every CMO and customer experience leader.
Let’s take a look at what she has to say about CX and EX.
CX and EX: CX Is Not the Only One That Needs Attention
Bova said, “It is important that CMOs and CIOs that are driving customer experience understand that this investment can have unintended consequences, leading to gaps in employee experience, particularly in the seamless tech category.” This issue was perceived by the authors of “Future Ready” who claimed waiting to industrialize the marketing platform and eliminate legacy processes and systems, “adds more complexity to already fragmented systems and processes and increases the cost to serve a customer.”
Bova highlighted the results of a survey, which revealed a significant gap between how C-suite executives and customer-facing employees perceive the effectiveness of technology. She emphasized the detrimental effects this discrepancy can have on customer experience and business growth. A key issue, according to Bova, is the frequent absence of dedicated ownership over the employee experience within companies. Consequently, she advocates for the critical need to appoint an employee advocate in decision-making processes related to customer experience. Progressive CIOs are already making efforts to bridge this gap.
Bova addressed the necessity of a mindset shift in employee interactions with customers. Central to this transformation is addressing the workflow and process challenges faced by customer-facing employees. Bova emphasized the significance of the experiences of employees who directly engage with customers. She refers to this as the “diamond model,” which encompasses people, process, technology and culture. Innovatively, she proposes the establishment of an employee advisory board.
Bova also emphasized the importance of a holistic approach in task execution. She introduced the “experience mindset” as a novel operating philosophy that integrates people, processes, technology, culture and value, underscoring the need for it to be a business priority. Regarding business differentiation, Bova contends that successful organizations broaden their discourse on experience, thoroughly understanding its value inside and out.
Related Article: Is It Time to Make CX and EX ‘One Experience’?
Employee Experience Mindset Shift
Bova suggested that developing an experience mindset requires organizations adopt more of holistic thinking and consider the bigger picture. Bova claims that for many, an “experience mindset” represents a new operating philosophy. But she suggested good organizations already can expand the conversation around experience and understand its value inside and out.
Bova then discussed the balance between customer and employee experiences and its effect on company growth. She pointed out that a positive customer experience doesn’t automatically equate to a positive employee experience, and the reverse is also true. She underscored the importance of enhancing the employee experience to attract talent and reduce turnover.
As an illustration, Bova cited an Australian company that decreased customer effort by mapping employee tasks in their strategy to improve overall experience, achieving notable results.
The discussion then moved to strategies for monitoring customer effort scores. Bova urged CIOs to work in tandem with their CMOs. She also advised CIOs to concentrate on metrics linked to executive compensation, aiding in presenting a compelling business case to the board. Additionally, she emphasized the significance of simultaneously tracking customer and employee experience metrics.
Related Article: CX and EX: How to ‘ROX’ Your Metrics
Advisory Board Proposal for Digital Transformation
Bova suggested forming advisory boards made up of middle managers or individual contributors. The aim is to pinpoint the top three friction points within the organization. This approach includes seeking insights from those “in the trenches” to effectively prioritize areas for improvement.
The dialogue also centered on the crucial link between CX and EX and digital transformation. Bova highlighted a common pitfall in many digital transformations: the failure to recognize the interdependency between customer and employee experiences. She expressed concerns about the brisk pace of change initiatives within companies. This includes a call for allowing more time for employees to adapt to each change, thereby reducing resistance to new initiatives. It’s evident that organizations must draw on insights from their teams to discover innovative solutions for system inefficiencies and to further enhance the user-friendliness of processes.
Parting Words on CX and EX
It’s evident that organizations must embrace a more collaborative “team of teams” approach, paying close attention to the experiences of those who directly service customers. Bova accurately points out that customer experience won’t improve solely through investments in integrated digital experiences, such as sophisticated websites and mobile apps, or by hiring designers and additional relationship managers.
These initiatives fall short if they complicate the underlying processes employees rely on. Both CX and EX must be addressed. This is a time that calls for leaders to craft a more comprehensive and improved experience for all stakeholders.