Customer Experience or Employee Experience – which is more important?

Customer Experience vs. Employee ExperienceWhich is more important? The Customer Experience or the Employee Experience?

There are many blog posts and articles circulating on LinkedIn lately about the importance of the Customer Experience (CX, UX). There’s also a lot being written about the need to optimize the Employee Experience (EX, EEL).

  • Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are known for obsessing over customers
  • Google, Southwest Airlines, and DreamWorks are known for providing an outstanding Employee Experience

Which experience takes precedence – the Customer’s or the Employee’s?

Customer Experience

Let’s consider what’s at stake here. If a customer has a poor experience, not only will they never return; they might leave a negative review, which will keep others from ever giving you a shot.

If something dreadful happens during their visit, they’ll take every chance they get to tell their friends to avoid your establishment.

On the other hand, if someone has a positive experience, they’ll become a repeat customer. Or better yet, if they are surprised & delighted, they’ll send others your way. That’s the best kind of free advertising!

Employee Experience

What’s at stake with the Employee Experience? If it’s poor, they’ll hate their job and will eventually quit. That means you’ll need to spend more of your valuable time and energy recruiting new help and then training and onboarding them.

If an employee has an exceptional experience, not only will they be happier; they’ll perform better! It’s a proven fact that happy employees do better work.

Trick Question? Not Really

Customer Experience and Employee Experience go hand-in-hand

So which experience should take precedence? Many would rightly argue that they are equally important.

Companies with a balanced emphasis on the customer and the employee’s experiences position themselves in the sweet spot where the greatest potential for radical results lives.

dollar.pngThe Shareholder Experience is always best when both the Customer and the Employee Experience are prioritized!

But although they are equally important, I would argue that there’s a logical order worth considering.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to provide a positive Customer Experience when the Employee Experience is ignored.

Unhappy employees aren’t likely to bring their best effort to their job. And that will adversely affect the Customer Experience.

Whether the employee is a cook, wait staff, clerk, developer, Customer Service Rep, or someone from Sales, Marketing, or Production, if the Employee Experience is poor, the Customer Experience will suffer.

So my proposed answer to the question of which experience should take precedence is that both are equally important but to achieve the greatest potential, start by focusing on the Employee Experience. Then quickly move to the Customer Experience and establish a balance where both are kept as top priorities.

Shortly after this post was published, I came across an excellent article by Blake Morgan about how Donna Morris is leading Adobe’s initiative to improve both CX and EX. It’s worth the read!

What does this have to do with Journey Mapping?

The only way to improve the Customer Experience or the Employee Experience is to be aware of each step in their journey. That’s where Journey Mapping comes in. It allows you to analyze the path customers and employees take so you can identify the touchpoints or pain points that have the greatest potential for impact when optimized.

If you’d like to learn how Journey Mapping can improve your CX or EX, send me a note via the form below.



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