Fuse Customer Experience and Employee Experience to Drive Your Growth

Morris set up listening stations, where employees can go either virtually online or physically in an Adobe office location to hear from customers directly and learn about their successes and challenges.  Morris’s team increased the communications storytelling capability at Adobe so the organization got better at showing employees how customers use their solutions to run their businesses.  And at every all-employee meeting, leaders give an update on the company’s CX delivery.

Adobe also initiated “experience-a-thons,” modeled after hackathons, through which employees give feedback on the features and user experience of products in development.  By involving non-technical employees in the product development process, Adobe’s engineers and designers receive fresh perspectives akin to customers’ feedback that might not be drawn from their tech-savvy peers.

CX + EX — How

Morris offered advice and insight about fusing the CX and EX functions at other companies.  First, she recommended putting the combined position where it will be most successful in driving and influencing change.  At Adobe, that meant creating a function that Morris described as “agnostic,” meaning that she doesn’t own customer or employee relationships, she only influences the people who do.  Because she’s not “being pulled by the product or revenue demands,” she said she is “uniquely positioned to drive the changes that are needed by the customer.”

Morris also observed that the people who assume responsibility for CX and EX must understand the company’s products and services.  Most average HR people would not have this knowledge, she said, therefore would not be successful.  She added that “a really strong leader of a customer-facing department could lead EX if they understood the fundamentals of leadership and management.”

Ultimately, though, she emphasized that it is less important that the CX and EX functions report into same person than that they are strategically aligned.  For example, she warned companies not to segregate employment brand from customer brand.  “You can’t live out a different brand with customers from the employment brand and what the employee experiences,” she said.  That’s why at Adobe she worked with the company’s Chief Marketing Office to ensure the company’s core values “inherently linked to the brand and reinforced the values we expected from employees.”

CX + EX — Results

Adobe recently reported a 25% year-over-year annual revenue gain and net income grew 45%. It also garnered the #26 position on Fortune’s 2018 100 Best Companies to Work For list.  While  it’s not possible to attribute the company’s success solely to the organizational and cultural changes it has undergone, the fusion of CX and EX has enabled a more customer-centric culture and that clearly has produced results.  As Morris concluded, “If employees are aligned, they will ensure the success of your customer.”  And customer success equals company success.


Learn more about CX + EX in my upcoming book, FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies, which will be published next Tuesday, March 13th.  You can be one of the first to read it by placing a pre-order here. If you pre-order the book before March 13th, submit your receipt here to get access to exclusive resources and materials.

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