The employee and customer experience loop

The experience employees have becomes the experience customers have, which circles back around to employees in a loop. It can be a doom loop or a virtuous cycle, and the identity of the organisation provides the energy.

If the employees of your organisation feel caught in a mire of draconian decisions, disconnected from any sense of meaning for their work, there is little chance your customers will be happy campers. And grumpy customers take it out on your employees, who then feel even more hopeless. Welcome to the doom loop.

Instead, when employees are the happy campers with a strong sense of why and what they are doing and the sense it matters, it’s contagious. Grateful bubbly thankyous from customers abound. And even one of those can make employees feel giddy. Presto, you’re in a virtuous cycle.

But of course, it’s not hey presto. There is a world of deep work, practice and discipline between those two realities. And there’s no pathway without a clear well-understood foundation of organisational identity.

Without purpose to keep things grounded in the why, and values to provide the ‘how we do things around here’, scant material exists to build experience with, and indeed little to make your organisation distinctive. To learn more about why distinctively is better than different click here.

A well-understood identity infiltrates the experience at every point. Sadly far too often, too much effort goes to the customer side of the equation without consideration for the internal realities that are undermining those efforts.

There is no point making promises to your customers if mountain size barriers make employees feel things are impossible to achieve. I’ve seen a well-intentioned clarion call to ”focus on the customer” get the collective eye-roll from employees and customers alike. A promise requires more than a desire to get it done. You’ve got to invest in the things to support it.

I’ve come to realise you can’t look at employee and customer experience separately. They are two sides of the same coin. And you need both for a brand result that people care about. The equation looks something like this:

Identity x experience [employee/customer] = brand.

I will explore the ins and outs of the equation in coming weeks. But in the meantime, if you’re in the doom loop and looking for an answer I’d start with identity. If you’re already rocking the virtuous cycle, go you!

See you next week.

Never miss a story: sign up to SmartCompany’s free daily newsletter and find our best stories on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.