“There is no doubt that a key contributor to CX improvement is EX,” Forrester said in a report on understanding the difference between the two, with fundamental disparities including:

  • EX is about getting people to bring their best selves to work every day, while CX centers around brand loyalty.
  • EX requires good relationships between employers and their employees, while CX is focused on relationships with the brand.

Despite these differences — and the challenges present for employee experience as a whole — there are three important things brands can do to optimize both EX and CX.

1. Link Programs

"We all understand intuitively that customer experience and employee engagement are linked, and yet many of us still operate CX and EX in separate silos,” said Elena Hutchinson, Medallia executive vice president of strategy and productmarketing.

She added that successful companies provide their leaders with a “complete view of the interlinked employee/customer experience that helps them get to root causes and actions more quickly and ultimately helps them compete moreeffectively in every aspect of their businesses.”

One Medallia telecommunications customer saw a 50% reduction in contact center churn after rolling out a CX program, according to Hutchison.

“Improving CX was also making employees' lives better,” she said. “Engaging with the CX program was making agents feel more empowered to have an impact, more connected with their roles and they were seeing the problems this program wasfixing were directly removing friction from their days too.”

Hutchison offered two other examples of customers combining CX and EX benefits:

  • One looked for top performers with dropping CX scores early in the pandemic, then used this analysis to identify employees who needed additional support in transitioning to remote work.
  • Another used a mix of direct customer feedback plus employee and manager feedback to optimize their employee onboarding and training paths.

Ask frontline employees how they would improve CX, Hutchison recommended. “Act on a few of those ideas and you may well find you earn both customer and employee loyalty."

Related Article: The 2022 Golden Rule of CX: Treat Employees How You Treat Your Customers

2. Unify Communications

“For brands to embody a customer-obsessed culture, they must consistently strive to build better connections, conversations and engagement with their customers,” said Joy Corso, Vonage CMO.

She added that successful customer-obssessed brands create an environment that inspires workers to help customers.

“After all, a company’s employee experience directly translates to the treatment that their customers will receive. By upholding a seamless employee experience, businesses can empower teams to deliver the same high-quality help andsupport to their customers.”

One example of good EX and CX in action, according to Corso? Headsets.com (a Vonage customer).

“Through investments in the right unified communications and contact center technology, as well as strategically built internal and external communications workflows, Headsets.com gives team members a more reliable, fast, simple andintegrated experience.”

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As such, the company’s agents can more easily collaborate with co-workers, resolve customer problems and create a great overall experience.

3. Provide Agent Support

A great employee experience translates into a great customer experience 85% of the time, said Cory Peace, Simplr head of operations, citing an IDC report. And to foster that employee experience, companies need to provide human-centeredsupport.

“In the new work-from-home era, customer service can be an isolating job, creating even higher attrition rates,” explained Peace. “Fostering a sense of community, especially in a remote work environment, must be encouraged and employeesshould feel comfortable chatting through internal platforms.”

“Additionally,” he continued, “managers should be proactive in publicly sharing wins and agent success in employee communication channels, making sure that agents' hard work is valued.”

Beyond the human support, technological support is also needed to provide a great employee experience.

“The cost center mentality of customer service teams prioritizes quantity over quality and pushes agents to do the bare minimum, resulting in okay efficiency metrics and worse customer and employee satisfaction scores,” said Peace.

“The technology to fix these problems exists, and it starts with empowering agents with the information they need the moment they need it to serve the customer the best way possible."

Related Article: The Secret for Any Customer Experience Strategy: Listen to Frontline Employees

Final Thoughts

“Investing in EX will generate long-term business benefits,” the Forrester report noted. “Organizations that have already achieved high [employee] engagement levels have achieved something that others will struggle to duplicate and willremain a differentiator for years to come.”

CX, profitability, productivity and employee retention are all benefactors of a good EX program, the Forrester report concluded. And using the three techniques above can help maximize those benefits.