Why CX Fails Without a Solid EX Strategy


By Maria Geokezas, VP of Client Services at Heinz Marketing

Employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) are equally important in your business. In fact, they are intrinsically linked.

One of the key stages in your sales cycle after closing the deal is to build loyal customers; to build evangelists of your brand.

But let’s not forget that your employees are actually your first brand advocates. When EX thrives, CX thrives, and greater revenue growth becomes possible.

“When people know how their work matters to a customer, it increases their alignment, their engagement, their innovation and their collaboration,” says Christine Hill, global customer experience strategy and measurement leader at Eli Lilly and Co., the pharmaceuticals manufacturer. 

Before we dig further into revenue growth, let’s take a step back…

How do you define EX and CX?

According to Gartner, the employee experience is the way in which employees internalize and interpret the interactions they have with their organization, as well as the context that underlies those interactions.

And, the customer experience is a customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.

Up until recently, most organizations prioritized the customer experience without a huge focus on the employee experience. But, it’s clear that EX is important to any organization’s strategy when we know that your employees are your first true brand advocates.

Yet, research from Deloitte shows that only 9% of business leaders believe they are very ready to address the EX issue.

However, when organizations get employee experience right, they can achieve twice the customer satisfaction and innovation, and generate 25% higher profits than those that don’t. That’s not insignificant…

So, EX → CX → revenue growth… 

A recent report from Forbes highlights how EX and CX are truly interconnected to generate revenue. 

One of the key findings found that revenue growth is linked to high EX, regardless of CX prioritization. Companies that have both high EX and CX see almost double the revenue growth as those that do not. 

However, this is not virtuous, meaning that 52% of executives do not agree that fast revenue growth leads to high EX.

Clearly, that means there is room for improvement and growth in EX if executives have seen that revenue growth doesn’t necessarily mean greater EX…

But, don’t make this mistake… 

While your EX strategy may need a little bit of work, focusing solely on the employee experience may not be your strongest strategy… 

Instead, focusing on shaping your operational strategy to enhance CX is the best way to boost revenue according to 66% of executives at high-ex companies. 

These same executives are also looking at improving EX through:

  • Setting the tone at the top
  • More flexible employee work from home policies
  • Ensuring the workplace is a safe environment
  • Treating employee needs more compassionately

And they are looking at improving CX through: 

  • Increased tech investment
  • Strengthening communities beyond charitable giving
  • Focus on moving customer services online
  • Showing customers we’re compassionate to our employees

When you focus on the shared value proposition between the employee, the customer and the company, revenue growth becomes a standard byproduct each and every time.

Here are some ways you can prioritize all three together:

  • Understand the drivers of good and not-so-good experiences for both employees and customers
  • Improve governance by incentivizing employees and fully investing in them for the success of the company
  • Create teams that combine CX and EX skills specifically
  • Close coordination within leadership teams
    • This is crucial if your operational strategy is going to take shape around enhancing EX and CX

 The thing that matters most, especially for high-growth companies, is having strong leadership and vision from the top. To sustain their high growth, decision-makers must create an environment where employees can blossom along with the company.

In the end…

The biggest thing to remember is that EX and CX are intrinsically linked. 

The most significant organizational obstacle to improving both, is a company’s attempt to emphasize one while neglecting the other. It’s so easy to focus on CX because you get feedback from prospects much quicker than you do from your employees. 

Working on EX has to come from strong leadership and prioritization to build a thriving company culture.

Working on CX is all about making it easier for employees to do what’s right for the customer and the organization.

When these sync together, you’re revenue opportunities become greater.