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Thoughts on Employee Engagement and Customer Experience (EE & CX)

Thoughts on the Correlation Between

Employee Engagement and the Customer Experience


In discussing the customer experience it is best to start at the beginning. And the beginning starts with the question “Who leads the relationship?”

In our experience, the brand leads the relationship. It is the responsibility of the organization to manage and then fulfill the customers’ expectations.

The types of expectations that a customer has about the company/customer relationship are a function of the company culture. The degree to which these expectations are fulfilled will determine the customers’ experience. For example, unfulfilled expectations lead to a sense of betrayal.

A culture of partnership (one that includes all stakeholders) will be able to effectively manage the types of customer expectations that relate to a partnership. These are:

  1. Commitment: does the organization understand what my needs/wants are and to they have the skills, abilities and willingness to fulfill them?
  2. Cost: Does the price match the value?
  3. Culture: Are they easy to do business with? (Partners are, hired-hands aren’t)
  4. Care: Is it possible to develop a personal relationship with them? (Social media is a powerful tool for this.)

For its part, the company is expected to link the fulfillment of employee expectations to the fulfill the customer expectations. These employee expectations are:

  1. Roles: How is my role as a partner different from the role of an employee?
  2. Rights: Partners have different (expanded) rights than employees. What are they?
  3. Responsibilities: Partners have different responsibilities than employees. What are they?
  4. Rewards: What social and material rewards will I receive from behaving like a partner?

The company engages the employees and manages their expectations by developing a culture of partnership. It does this by implementing specific management practices that “nudge” employees toward engagement and partnership. For a partnership culture there are four main categories of management practices, each with subsets. They are:

  1. Educate: Provide the right information to the right people at the right time.
  2. Enable: Develop systems that enable employees to participate and contribute their discretionary knowledge and effort.
  3. Empower: Provide the authority and ability to take independent action within defined parameters.
  4. Engage: Link social and material rewards to behavior and performance.

Employee engagement and customer expectations are a function of an organization’s culture.

It is the responsibility of the CEO to establish and maintain the culture and it is the responsibility of each individual to embrace and develop the culture.

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