The benefits of redesigning Customer Experience and Employee Experience in tandem
There are plenty of ideas around how to design standout Customer Experience (CX) and exceptional Employee Experience (EX) in isolation.
There are plenty of ideas around how to design standout Customer Experience (CX) and exceptional Employee Experience (EX) in isolation. But redesigning them in unison, whilst not always easy, has significant benefits.
Focusing solely on just one area can have a negative impact on the journey that has been left behind, and this will only mean additional investment is required further down the line. Therefore, it makes sense to look at both CX and EX in parallel because this is usually the most efficient and effective way forward. So, how do we link them together?
The first steps to redesigning Customer Experience and Employee Experience
For any organisation design, it is important to know at the outset what the real driver behind the reorganisation is. No organisation will redesign its operations to simply improve EX. There must be another reason, for instance, the driver might be to increase profit, or enhance reputation.
Then, it is important to weigh up the opportunities and risks of the redesign. For example, we know we want to enhance CX, but we don’t want to introduce new processes that improve the customer journey but overstretch employees.
Finally, we should include the benefits we want to bring to customers and employees in the design, as well as any non-negotiables.
Only once we’ve followed these steps can we start on the design work, beginning with the design principles, an as-is assessment to establish what is happening at that moment, what the challenges are, and what could be improved. Then we go into design mode where we come up with a summary level design, followed by a more detailed version.
Designing the future model
When we’re designing the future model, we should include the voices of the customer and the employee in any current state assessment, and here it’s important both parties can relate to one another. Asking the employee to swap roles with the customer for a moment and look at the situation from the other side will bring a very different perspective to pain points and future state ideas. It can also be useful to clearly communicate who the customer will interact with at the outset so that nothing comes as a surprise.
Align customer and employee journeys
It is important to align customer and employee journeys, drawing them together around core services and listing current challenges and future opportunities for both sides. In practice, the customer journey almost always takes priority over the employee journey. But we need to remember that employees are at the centre of delivering CX. Therefore the success of any redesign hinges on EX.
If you want an organisation that is CX focused, and you want your employees to be happy, you need to make sure employees are passionate about customer satisfaction. We do this by making sure client relationships are nurtured, which requires the effort of an entire organisation rather than an individual who may be focused on sales targets or bonuses. In doing this, the whole organisation becomes more inclusive and team-focused, which creates a more customer-centric company and a happier workforce. To do this, employees should not only have their own individual objectives but also at least one team objective every quarter or six months. This will keep employees focused on how their roles can help to achieve the end goal and impact on overall CX.
Align the solution design with operations
Design the operating model by aligning the solution design, which is what the customers think, with the other three core elements - people, process, and technology, which are the behind-the-scenes operations. For instance, if you move the customer service level agreement from five to two days, what does that mean for the employees? Do they need to work twice as hard? Will you need more employees and how will it impact their morale?
Every design idea needs to be assessed against the initial design principles. This will ensure we make a decision that is aligned with what we want to achieve. Here, there should be someone who represents the employee and another who represents the customer. Without this approach, gaps can arise.
Is the design financially achievable?
Finally, everything we do will inevitably have an impact on the organisation’s finances. If finances are suffering, it will impact the customer or employee or both, meaning you cannot achieve the end goal.
Focusing on CX and EX concurrently might seem intimidating. But it will help to use cost/benefit analysis to identify what will make the most difference and then start with the highest value changes. This will bring a faster return on investment.