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What's the difference between EX and CX?

Employee and customer experiences are undoubtedly connected but what are the key differences?

Employee Experience (EX)

If you missed our previous post on the employee experience, feel free to give it a quick read here for a more in-depth view of EX and why it's so important.

We define the employee experience as the power of 3 – where, how and why we work.

The where relates to the physical working environment (virtual, hybrid or office) and the how relates to the digital and physical tools provided to get work done. The why focuses on the cultural elements, specifically what inspires your employees to commit to your mission and vision as a company.

A great employee experience typically results in increased engagement, reduced attrition, increased productivity, and a more competitive employee value proposition.

Customer Experience (CX)

You might be more familiar with customer experience (CX) which relates to the experience of customers, our external stakeholders. For many organizations, CX is a major strategic focus and this is supported by increased investment in customer experience tech each year. Leading organizations know that the customer experience drives both present and future revenue potential.

Customer experience (CX) can be defined as:

“the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer's journey.”

In commercial terms, a great customer experience (CX) increases customer loyalty, drives positive word-of-mouth promotion, brand affiliation, and ultimately higher revenues and profit. The brands you have great experiences with are typically the ones you return to as a consumer.

Differences between EX & CX

  • The audience is different

One of the primary differences between EX and CX is the audience. CX relates to the experience of external parties (customers) and EX relates to internal parties (employees). This difference influences the focus of the experience, generating alternative motivations and goals. For example, CX might focus on repeat customer revenue generation whilst EX focuses on driving employee engagement and productivity.

But what about the intersection of EX and CX?

In the absence of a great employee experience, your employees are likely to be less engaged, less productive and less willing to go the extra mile for your customers. An organization's experience value chain requires CX and EX to be intrinsically linked. To achieve outstanding results and performance (internally and externally), your CX and EX strategies must be alligned.

  • They're measured differently

Employee and customer experiences are measured differently but there are a number of parallels with the metrics used. It's worth noting that measures used to assess both CX and EX are widely debated and the most effective measures tend to be a blend of qualitative and quantitative insights.

Metrics like employee satisfaction, employee net promoter score (eNPS), engagement scores, and attrition rates can be used to assess the EX alongside employee feedback monitoring and focus groups.

Similarly, CX can be measured using customer satisfaction metrics (CSAT), NPS scores, customer churn rates, average resolution time, and various other metrics. Customer experience data can also be gathered using surveys and social sentiment analysis on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

  • They're owned by different stakeholders

Another fundamental difference between EX and CX is that they are typically owned by different parts of the organisation. The employee experience is primarily owned and defined by HR but a number of leading organisations are creating a broader enterprise experience strategy that relies on various internal functions like IT, Facilities, Finance and HR (blog post pending...).

CX, on the other hand, is generally owned by the customer service or success organization. It's important to note that other functions like Product Development, Sales and Marketing play a key role in the execution of an organization's CX strategy and the overall satisfaction of its customers.

Still lost on the differences between CX and EX? Keen to know how you can connect the two? Contact us for a chat.


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