Customer experience (CX) has become the number one business priority for marketers. The percentage of European B2C marketers considering improving CX as their company’s top business priority has jumped from 26% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. CMOs are fully aware of the importance of customer data to personalize experiences. The employee data tsunami is less obvious, though.

Expect the lines between employee and customer experiences to blur — as my colleague Dipanjan Chatterjee puts it rightly, “at the center of customer and employee experiences is the brand.” At its simplest, brand is a mental model of perception, and perception shapes expectations. Whether we experience the brand directly or indirectly, the experience resets our perceptions. This mental model of a brand is unique to each beholder: Employees build models of the brand they work for, and customers build models of the brands they consume, often based on experiences with those same employees.

To understand the importance of the convergence of brand, customer experience, and employee experience (EX), consider what happens when it’s lacking. There are many examples — from United Airlines to Uber — where lack of alignment damaged the brand and the performance of a business.

On the contrary, alignment between brand, employee, and customer experiences drives business performance. Our latest European data shows that the correlation between EX, CX, and business performance is even higher than in 2019. In short, the better the employee experience, the more likely you are to attract and retain talent but also the more likely you are to deliver great CX — and great CX means customer loyalty, enrichment, and advocacy, and, therefore, growth.

In the context of the pandemic, consumers and employees strive for meaning more than ever. As a consequence, businesses are overcommunicating their societal responsibility. This is a risky strategy if you don’t already deliver CX basics and if you don’t audit your processes and ecosystem partners. Consumers are more demanding, and social backlash is never far away.

To do this right, you must take a systematic approach to adopting and expressing values and make sure that these values are aligned with your DNA.


Join us at our fully virtual event, CX EMEA, from 17–19 November, when my colleagues Anjali Lai, Michelle Beeson, Emily Collins, Xiaofeng Wang, Rick Parrish, and I will share our latest data, trends, and best practices on values and ethical marketing.