How the Employee Experience Impacts the Customer Experience

  • Author: Melanie Haniph

Like other organizations, you likely already recognize the value of a positive employee experience. After all, it delivers so many benefits, including higher employee engagement, performance, and retention. Additionally, a great employee experience helps deliver a better customer experience. When employees have positive work experiences that increase their engagement and performance, your customers benefit, too.

Several studies have found a strong connection between the employee experience and the customer experience. But just as engaged employees with a great employee experience can deliver a better experience to your customers, less engaged employees can be so disengaged they can hurt the customer experience. And unfortunately, as our recent research found, your disengaged employees may be the ones more likely to be in customer-facing roles.

In our 2022 Employee Connections Study, we analyzed survey results from over 400 respondents, and identified four distinct attitudinal segments among the respondents:

  • Secure Employees: Feel a shared purpose with their employer and often have a very positive employee experience.
  • Connected Employees: Feel close to coworkers both inside and outside work.
  • Discouraged Employees: Don’t feel connected or supported at work, and often think about leaving their job.
  • Empathetic Employees: Want their employer to do more to support employees to help them achieve work-life balance.

When we looked at the roles held by survey respondents, we found that while 63 percent of Discouraged Employees said they were in customer-facing roles, this was true of only 41 percent of Secure Employees. These findings are concerning because low engagement among these employees can lead to adverse outcomes such as poor customer interactions, lost business, and lower customer satisfaction scores. 

How to Boost the Customer Experience With a Better Employee Experience

Ideally, you want your entire workforce to have a positive employee experience and high engagement. When you improve your employee experience to improve customer experience, it’s a win-win all around. To get there, take the following actions:

Train Direct Managers

To understand the reasons behind employee disengagement in your organization, you’ll need to train managers to have fruitful conversations with their people. But since many managers don’t automatically know how to demonstrate empathy or ask the right questions, they’ll need coaching and formal training to learn how to do it well. Once managers are more skilled in identifying the factors contributing to employee disengagement, you can take additional steps to address it.

Help Employees Connect to Your Core Values

Whether you’re trying to build a customer-centric culture or you want to improve your customer service and net promoter scores, employees need to see and understand the values underpinning those goals. Of course, helping employees connect to your values isn’t about posting slogans on the wall at work sites or listing your company values on the intranet. It requires providing opportunities for employees to see company leaders embracing those values, so they can do the same. You can begin by having honest one-on-one and team discussions, weaving company values into employee goals and performance reviews, and celebrating employee achievements that align with your values.

Empower Your Workforce

Empowered employees have the tools and support to take ownership of outcomes, ultimately leading to better results for your organization’s customers. Everyone benefits when employees are empowered to be creative, take measured risks, and try new things to deliver better value for customers. Thankfully, there are many ways to empower employees, with technology support, work flexibility, and listening to employee feedback, to name a few.

Strengthen Your Company From the Inside Out

Improving the employee experience in your organization benefits employees, leaders, and customers alike. By providing more opportunities for employee communication, connections, and empowerment, you can have happier employees and customers.

Interested in more insights to help improve the employee experience in your organization? Download a copy of our latest research, The 2022 Employee Connections Study.

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