In CEM standpoint, employees behavior play determinative role in shaping brand experience. Employees – for example – at sales points answer customers’ problems, share emotions, and improve the customer’s experience (Caru & Cova, 2003). Schmitt and many other scholars believe that the concept of experience not only applies to external customer but also to internal customer (e.g. Schmitt, 2003, p. 206). As long as brand has meaning for employees and they live brand in their day-to-day personal and professional life, they can convey positive experience to customers (Schmitt, 2003, p. 227). Employees’ competency is dominant initiator of service experience excellence as well (Berry, Wall, & Carbone, 2006). For instance, 82% of high-preference-brands considered employee behavior as the first and the main success factor (Berry & Lampo, 2004).
In black and white, firms have to “engage not only the body of employee but also their soul and mind” (Schmitt, 2003, p. 226). In line with this fact, we can define employee experience as what employee received during their interaction with careers’ elements that affect their cognition (rational acquisition) and affection (internal and personal acquisition) and leads to their particular behaviors. In this regard, we are also looking to define Employee Experience Management (EEM) as an approach to deliver excellent experience to employee, which leads to the positive customer experience by emphasizing on their experiential needs (Abhari et al., 2008). If we reflect these practices to the EEM then we can elaborate that it goes beyond standard human-resource management (HRM) by rewarding more employee-experience in form of both professional and personal development (Schmitt, 2003, p. 207). Indeed, the notion of EEM come from the question that how firms make sure that employee create the desirable customer experience, whenever they talk, interact with, think about, provide the information and service to customers (Schmitt, 2003, p. 219).
First, if employees are internal customer we ought to treat them same as customer and figure out their needs especially their experiential desires (Schmitt, 2003, p. 227). In reality, firms cannot offer outstanding experience to their employee unless they become familiar with the all experiential needs and wants. In addition, especially in service, treating internal customers, in a humanistic manner, encourage a sympathetic experience and ensure the service is executed in an effective way (Schembri S., 2006).
In this perspective, employee experience is crucial in driveling right brand experience, enhancing the customer experience and continuous innovation initiative (Schmitt, 2003, p. 41).
Clearly, highly motivated and engaged employees can create memorable customer experiences (Millard, 2006). Regarding, empowered employees are critical for CEM success; great customer experiences are enabled through inspirational leadership, an empowering culture and empathetic people who are happy and fulfilled (Shaw & Ivens, 2002). In fact, customer experience does not improve until it becomes a top priority in firm’s work processes systems, implement by employees, and support by senior managers (Meyer & Schwager, 2007). For instance, a study by the Service Management Group in 1999 found that high satisfaction of employees resulted in a 10.6% growth in profits. In contrast, according to Gallup survey, only 25% of employee actively engaged in their job.
To overcome these kinds of problems, EEM would start by recruiting right employees, training them, providing incentive and reward to convey right humanic clues to trigger customer emotional needs, it continues with measuring employee behavior and complete by endowing with involvement (Berry et al., 2006; Schmitt, 2003, p. 220). To enrich employee experience, we can also consider providing effective interface and interaction for them. Employee must be involved in any R&D and innovation program as well. Furthermore, we have to put emphasis again; customer experience is improved and sustained only by well-trained employee (Thompson, 2006).
Finally, to draw distinction between HRM and EEM, it would make sense to highlight that HRM typically align employee behavior with company mission, vision, and value that are stereotype and merely focus on broad-base organizational objective. In contrast, given CEM concept, EEM focus on customer-centric approach to edify and encourage employee to deliver right experiences (Schmitt, 2003, p. 219). EEM can enrich employees’ life by empowerment, challenging work, teamwork, communication, fun, and pleasant workplace (Schmitt, 2003, p. 226). Hence, employees live more experiential and thus they are more satisfied with productive life and great motivation. All of those result in delivering great experience to customer.