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Which Comes First - Customer Experience or Employee Experience? 

By Helen Trainor 


We have all heard the saying, “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” The same question can be applied to the discussion of whether customer experience or candidate experience comes first. 

Customer experience is the core way in which customers interact with your business. These interactions have evolved in the last decade from brick and mortar, face-to-face experience, to a website or an email marketing message, to the many digital touchpoints we have with companies/brands that we purchase from or engage with. 


Think about the average online purchase. You might be asked how you located the service/product, your name, address, payment information, email, and even your mobile phone number. Once you interact with the company, you might be prompted to download an app or create an online account. They might even ask you to share your experience on social media. Shortly after, you will no doubt see social media ads, texts, emails, and potentially browser ads or higher search results depending on your cookie and browser security settings. 


With so many touchpoints, conventional wisdom tells us that the balance of how many and which kinds of touchpoints to use means customer experience must rule the day. However, the only way to ensure a positive customer experience is to first focus on the employee experience within your organization. The employees creating these touchpoints and interacting live, online, or in person with your customers will largely shape and affect the customer experience. 


So, how do you ensure a positive employee experience? There are many variables to consider. These include the type of business, whether your organization has a remote, in person or hybrid workforce, and your organizational culture. Over the last several years, the things employees value has shifted. In the past, benefits (and their costs) as well as salary and vacation were the big three factors employees considered. Now, those have shifted to work-life balance/remote flexibility, professional development, and workplace culture/environment. Pay and benefits are still important. But it is the work environment and an organization’s investment in employees that count the most. This is especially true for younger generations. 


In a service-oriented organization, the stakes are even higher. When service delivery is the goal of your organization, the customer experience will be the focus of the company. Revenue follows referrals. Referrals come from satisfied clients. Satisfied clients are acquired through their interactions with BOTH your online presence and the employees delivering them. 


Employees who feel valued, respected, and motivated provide better service. They are more willing to go the extra mile. Managers who emphasize mentorship and training get better marks from their employees. And their teams show greater client retention and results. Replacing an employee can cost 50-150% of the employee's annal salary. Depending on your industry, it can cost thousands to replace the loss of even one customer and tens of thousands to repair or recover from a poor rating or online review in your local business community. 


If you want to know what your customer experience is like, ask your employees how they feel about their role with your customers. The employee experience will tell you a lot about where your customer experience is and how you can improve it. 


Let’s also keep in mind that both customer and employee experience start with a great candidate experience. Candidate experience plays a crucial role in shaping both employee and customer experiences within a business. A positive candidate experience not only attracts top talent but also sets the stage for a satisfying employee journey, leading to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and retention. Additionally, candidates who have a favorable experience during the hiring process are more likely to become loyal customers, as they develop a positive perception of the company's values, culture, and commitment to excellence. Conversely, a negative candidate experience can deter potential employees and create a ripple effect, impacting employee morale and ultimately influencing customer interactions. So, prioritizing a seamless and positive candidate experience is not only essential for attracting talent but also for fostering a culture of excellence that resonates with both employees and customers alike. 


How are your candidate, employee, and customer experiences? Consider partnering with TalentRemedy. Our industry experts can help ensure you have a recruiting process that gives a positive candidate experience. Good candidates can become great employees and great employees deliver for your clients! At TalentRemedy, we specialize in helping companies hire top talent to deliver that great customer experience. Contact us at or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to learn more about how our team can support your hiring needs. 


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