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The Fusion of CX and EX Requires Unified Data

Elevating the customer experience (CX) is a focal point that cuts across industries as businesses look to retain existing customers and attract new ones. And as the business world continues to adopt a customer-first and employee-centric culture, a new paradigm is emerging: the integration of employee experience (EX) and CX. This integration is proving to be a recipe for success, as companies recognize the direct correlation between employees equipped with the necessary digital tools and real-time data and satisfied customers.

In today's business landscape, the interplay between employee and customer experiences is increasingly recognized as pivotal to organizational success. Omdia’s IT Enterprise Insights Drivers and Priorities 2023-24 survey of 6,000 global IT decision-makers found that respondents ranked improving customer experience outcomes and improving employee experience and engagement as their top two strategic priorities related to the future of work.

Such priorities underscore how a positive employee experience directly impacts customer experience. Employee experience encompasses the entire journey of an employee within an organization (from recruitment to offboarding), while customer experience refers to the perception and satisfaction of customers across all touchpoints in an organization, from initial awareness to post-purchase support. As these two journeys intertwine, factors such as employee and customer satisfaction and opportunities for growth are mutually beneficial. Engaged and motivated employees are more likely to go above and beyond to meet customer needs, and that leads to better outcomes and increased customer satisfaction.

Success requires aligning CX and EX to organizational strategies, culture, processes, and data , thus ensuring that employees are empowered and motivated to deliver exceptional service that enhances the overall experience for customers. However, seamless integration of CX and EX hinges upon giving customer-facing employees access to unified data. In doing so, companies can become more collaborative and focused on creating both employee and customer experiences that are tailored and meaningful.

By integrating data from various touchpoints, businesses can gain insights into the factors influencing both experiences by aligning customer journeys to employee processes. This understanding allows for informed decision-making and targeted improvements in processes, products, and services. Incorporating customer insights into the decision-making process can lead to more relevant, customer-centric solutions in everything from product development to marketing strategies, ultimately driving business success.

However, in Omdia’s State of Digital CX 2024, when asked about the primary obstacles in improving the customer experience, 37% pointed to a lack of an integrated view of customer journey data. Furthermore, according to the same survey, businesses face challenges in unifying customer data and making it accessible to employees. The survey results reveal that 45% can’t integrate data sources from various systems, 44% said data isn’t transparent or accessible, and 40% said they cannot understand the context of customers’ decisions.

Unless employees gain access to unified customer data from a centralized platform, they can’t proactively engage on behalf of customers across their journeys, and they will be unable to collaborate cross-functionally, and the fusion of employee experience and customer experience will never take hold. 


Integrated and Accessible Data Serves as the Nexus to Elevated CX and EX

Three things need to be done in order to effectively integrate the power of EX and CX. First, companies must first incorporate customer data into their decision-making. This includes transactional data, website analytics, and social media interactions. Omdia’s State of Digital CX 2024 highlights some of the mechanisms in place at companies as they look to integrate customer feedback into the decision-making process. Of the survey respondents, 37% said they give cross-functional teams access to feedback data, 33% said customer feedback scores are tied to employee evaluation and compensation, and 31% said they have established a routine for sharing customer feedback and insights with key stakeholders across the enterprise.

Second, the integration of customer data into decision-making also requires a cultural shift within organizations. Companies will need to establish cross-functional teams and workflows that integrate data insights into strategic planning, product development, and customer service initiatives; this will ensure decisions and actions are aligned with customers’ needs.

Finally, empower employees at all levels to act on the customer data and feedback in their day-to-day decision-making. When asked in Omdia’s State of Digital CX 2024 about the most effective methods for empowering and training employees to deliver a better experience, the top strategies were: clearly communicating the company’s service expectations, empowering employees to resolve issues, and instilling a customer-centric mindset.


Fusing EX and CX Will Become a Fundamental Shift in How Businesses Operate

Harnessing the power of customer data and feedback is essential for making the informed decisions that drive business success in today's competitive landscape. By collecting comprehensive data, listening to customer feedback, analyzing insights, integrating data into decision-making processes, and empowering employees, companies can unlock valuable insights and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Once companies successfully deliver on these steps, the integration of employee and customer experience will become more than a trend; it will evolve into a fundamental shift in how businesses operate. By recognizing the symbiotic relationship between EX and CX and investing in both, companies can create a virtuous cycle of success, where informed and empowered employees lead to satisfied customers, and satisfied customers, in turn, lead to business growth and success.

I will be speaking at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27th, at Enterprise Connect about this topic during a panel titled, “How CX and EX Integration Can Boost Your Business Outcomes.” Please join my colleague Adam Holtby and me, as well as three panelists from NICE, Verint, and Genesys to learn more about the intersection of CX and EX.

Enterprise Connect 2024 will be held at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL, from March 25-28.Preview the conference schedule or register to attend. To keep on top of all Enterprise Connect developments, subscribe to the weekly newsletter.