Similarly to people, organisations have their own inner and outer layers.
There's what we show to the world through our appearance and interactions, and what we cherish or invest in for ourselves.
In other words, the face an organisation shows the world, and the internal perceptions of its employees.
These layers – Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) – are inextricably linked. Or rather, they should be. Because there are a lot of Jekyll and Hyde organisations, where the inner and outer experiences are very different indeed.
The pitfalls of focusing solely on CX
Traditionally, marketers and company leaders invest their time and attention in CX, because they’re told again and again that’s how to maximise conversions and increase sales.
Whilst this isn’t inherently a bad thing – every organisation needs its customers – it has the potential to undermine the overall perception and experience of a brand if it isn't an authentic reflection of what’s happening on the inside.
The saying, “If a monkey is dressed in silk, it remains a monkey” comes to mind.
In other words, we can garnish the outer, but the inside remains the same (some perceptive Spanish proverb).
Branding is an inside job
Employees are the vehicle by which a brand comes alive, acting as ambassadors for an organisation’s values and promise. We only have to explore Glassdoor to appreciate the impact of internal experiences.
When employees understand (and even develop a passion for) a company, its values and vision, they're inspired and unified by a common purpose.
And with this, a whole host of lovely things are also enhanced – job satisfaction, self-esteem, employee engagement and positive word of mouth.
Organisations that understand this equation invest in customer-centric cultures, placing employees at the heart of the organisation. This breaks down silos and cultivates happy employees and happy customers!
Organisational identity is all about people
Brands live in the hearts and minds of the people who interact with them. To create a consistent and authentic organisational identity, it’s vital that effort is invested in both sides of this (immensely valuable) coin.
- When internal experiences match external messaging, congruency builds credibility, informing external perceptions and strengthening brand confidence.
- EX reflects how employees feel about their work. If we don’t get it right for our people, they won’t get it right for our customers.
Take a moment to reflect on your organisation’s approach to EX and CX by asking yourself these questions…
- How do you help employees to understand your brand and its purpose?
- How do employees view your organisation? How can you find out?
- What are your EX and CX strategies?