Skip to Main Content

Generative AI: Using artificial intelligence to make human impact.Learn how


How Employee Experience Transformation Makes Customer Experience a Differentiator

How do companies create unique experiences to increase customer lifetime value while strategically supporting their employees for the future of work?

Many companies are reinvesting in their customer experience (CX) through expanded loyalty programs, personalized marketing, modernized booking platforms and more.

But there’s one area that’s being drastically overlooked by most leadership teams in driving great customer experience: employee experience (EX), or digital transformation.

When it comes to major crises or just day-to-day customer service, in-person and digital employee experience transformation is the backbone of CX and the resulting customer lifetime value (CLV).

“Employee experience is inseparable from the customer experience. It’s time to understand and enable employee journeys the same way we do with customer journeys.” - Pete Groves, managing director at Publicis Sapient

How can businesses across industries make EX, and the resulting CX, a differentiator? There are two key strategies:

  • Connecting customer experience journeys to the employee experience
  • Investing in digital employee experience solutions built for the future of work

Why now is the time for employee experience (EX) transformation

In a strained economic environment with new flexible work options, both employees and customers are no longer loyal to their favorite companies. The “great resignation” has created a domino effect of understaffing, high employee turnover, increased customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue for companies.

Employee turnover is on the rise

Insufficient and/or incapable frontline staff directly affects customer experience, even in fully self-service or digital customer environments


  • Energy and commodities

    Nearly half (48 percent) of the utility workforce in the U.S. belongs to the 55-and-up age bracket, with the average age of retirement at 61 years.


    Source: United States Bureau of Labor


    Financial Services

    U.S. financial advisors are on average 56 years old, and younger workers in the industry are choosing positions at fintechs instead of traditional financial institutions.


    Source: J.D. Power, 2023


    In the U.K., the National Health Service is operating with 154,000 fewer healthcare workers than it needs and that number could increase to 571,000 staff by 2036 based on current trends.


    Source: National Health Service

How employee engagement and retention affect customer lifetime value (CLV)

A lack of employee engagement often leads to poor customer service, and that’s not always the fault of the employee. Many of us have terrible customer service stories that are shared for comedic value or a vague sense of contribution to a suggestion box.

Those customer experiences almost always have a counterpart—and origin—in a terrible employee experience.

“Brands cannot rely on their employees to think on their feet if they don’t have the tools to support them. Employees are no longer accepting the status quo when it comes to employee experience because, post-pandemic, they’re no longer dealing with the status quo.” - J F Grossen, global vice president of customer experience at Publicis Sapient


The impact of employee experience on customer experience, by the numbers:


Six ways to reimagine the employee experience through digital transformation

Companies can systematically improve employee experience at scale through connecting customer and employee experience journeys and investing in digital employee experience transformation.

Connect customer and employee experience through service design

To deliver a differentiated CX, companies need to integrate digital CX systems and journeys with EX from the start through a “service design” approach.

Service design addresses both customer experience transformation and EX together (CEmX), considering both the frontstage (what a customer sees) and backstage (what a customer doesn’t see) involved in delivering a service. CEmX requires working together with customers, stakeholders and employees to map journeys over time, develop personas and blueprint all aspects.

“It is often the employees on the ground who are responsible for delivering make-or-break experiences for your brand. Companies have the ability to set up these employees for success through integrated CX and EX journeys.” - Pete Groves, managing director at Publicis Sapient

Across industry, there are specialized use cases and approaches that should be employed to help improve employee experience and customer satisfaction, while growing customer lifetime value.


Just as hotel brands upgrade front desk interactions for customers through digital kiosks or mobile check-in, similar investments can be made for employees. Using geofencing via a loyalty app on a member’s phone can alert the hotel lobby and front desk staff when a high-value elite member is arriving. The alert can be sent to a handheld device with high-level customer data and photographs, prompting employees to greet the guest by name and kick off a personalized experience.

Invest in the EX of customer service platforms

Companies can also invest in the digital workforce experience through new employee-centric tools that optimize customer service.


As retailers invest in chatbots and other digital customer service channels, providing innovative digital tools to employees should be at the top of the list. AI-driven scripts based on caller sentiment analysis can better prepare call center employees to provide the right interaction for the right customer need at the right time.

Rethink employee KPIs

As companies invest in CX and EX at the same time, they also need to ensure that traditional employee performance metrics are in alignment with upgraded technology and customer service expectations.

Telecommunications and media:

For example, if a telco introduces the ability to request in-person internet installation via mobile app, the back-end employee success metrics need to be upgraded in tandem. A customer who is satisfied with the service technician might fill out a customer feedback survey negatively because of a poor app experience, or vice versa, creating conflict between employee success and new CX technology.

Engage employees in CX journey creation

At the same time, if employees aren’t actively involved in and inspired by CX initiatives that may include new digital touchpoints and customer platforms, employee engagement will drop. This decreases the ROI from the upgraded CX journey.

Transportation and mobility:

To prevent this, a leading automotive manufacturer incentivized employees to join an extended, multi-skill CX team. This team hosted cross-functional workshops to select the right KPIs that would matter in a new customer journey for employees across functions, like sales, marketing and finance. As a result, employees who were once skeptical about digital CX transformation became motivated and engaged in designing new customer-centric journeys.

View EX journeys holistically

To fully connect CX and EX, brands not only need to implement select digital tools that benefit both customers and employees, but they also need to invest in more holistic employee experience journey mapping.

Just as price is not the only lever in CLV, gross pay is only one lever in designing employee experience. Two value drivers that are often overlooked are motivation, ensuring employees have meaningful incentives and compensation to want to deliver great CX, and ability, ensuring employees have the tools, support and working environment needed to consistently deliver.


One global QSR introduced a solution that allowed restaurant operators to easily tailor differential pay for difficult-to-fill or less desirable shifts to encourage staff to fill them. While, in theory, it's simple to say, "I'll pay an extra $2/hour for the late-night Friday shift," often the pay systems don't allow companies to seamlessly enact the simple solution and tailor it to the needs of the situation.

“Businesses have been investing in customer journey reinvention, loyalty and personalization for years. Yet every employee has an equivalent and unique journey with your brand that deserves the same level of strategic consideration to increase employee loyalty and revenue.” - J F Grossen, global vice president of customer experience at Publicis Sapient

Design uniquely segmented EX journeys

However, even within a particular role, employees are not a monolith, and just like customers, they should not be treated as such. Each employee has vastly different motivations, expectations for the role and plans for their future. Building on segmentation and journey design, brands can allow employees to personalize their work life in a way that makes sense for their unique goals, creating increased employee retention, especially amongst younger generations.

Consumer packaged goods (CPGs)

Personalized or same-day pay options allow CPG warehouse employees to create flexible schedules to match life needs. A seamless, personalized portal with training recommendations, feedback and recognition and communications makes it easy for workers to take advantage, and gamified work with micro-bonuses for desired behaviors can increase performance.

How to get started with employee experience transformation

For companies across industries, EX and CX can no longer be addressed separately, especially when talent shortages are having a material impact on business operations. Creating an impactful customer experience to drive customer lifetime value (CLV) means aligning team support and compensation with customer experience and business expectations.

Get in touch to discuss how Publicis Sapient, an IDC leader in employee experience consulting, can support brands to develop an employee experience solution that drives growth and creates a sustainable, differentiated CX.

Pete Groves
Pete Groves
Senior Managing Director at Publicis Sapient
J F Grossen
J F Grossen
Global Vice President of Customer Experience at Publicis Sapient