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3 Consumer Experience Design Tools to Help You Improve Employee Experience

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 — August 12th, 2021

3 Consumer Experience Design Tools to Help You Improve Employee Experience

After more than a year of working remotely, employers are beginning to discuss, debate, and determine the future of the workplace.

And rightfully so; there are pros and cons of remote, in-person and hybrid models to be sure.

Anxious to see their workers back in the office, many company leaders may be dusting off former policies and procedures, avoiding investments in technology and workspace changes, and just returning to “normal.” After all, aren’t we all just craving a return to “normal”?

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But we are faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine work.

What if there were some tools that could help guide decision-making to ensure we’re proceeding in the best interest of our employees, and our bottom line? I would argue there are. And your colleagues in the marketing & design department are probably already using them…

What is Consumer Experience Design?

Consumer experience (CX) focuses on the relationship between a business and its customers. It includes every interaction, before, during, and after a purchase is made or a service delivered, that influences a customer’s perception of your brand, company and/or product.

Designers use the principles, concepts, and tools of CX to research, understand, design (and re-design) the experience a consumer has with their brand.

It’s a data-driven way to understand where to devote resources that will attract and retain customers, build brand loyalty and lead to referrals. And the results speak for themselves:

  • 73% of consumers say a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties.
  • Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.
  • American consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service.

At Humana, we’ve begun looking at our own data to see how employee experience impacts consumer outcomes.

Our results showed that employees’ experience (as measured by sentiment surveys, but also metrics like device health and incidence reporting) was significantly related to higher sales, higher customer NPS scores, lower work-related stress and higher work satisfaction.

Additional data confirm that carefully crafting our employees’ experience can lead to higher productivity and performance, which positively impacts your customer experience and even your bottom line.

Here are some ideas on how to leverage consumer experience practices to design your employees’ experience – especially in the wake of COVID-19:


1. Segmentation (From One-Size-Fits-All to Persona-based Segmentation)

Most companies organize employees in standard groupings like job title, department, or geography. But persona-based segmentation, grouping employees into clusters based on their wants and needs, allows you to identify distinct values and motivations and reach them with tailored tactics.

This can be helpful for everything from identifying a new solution, to determining the right launch strategy, even to managing change.

2. Journey Mapping (From Deploying Solutions to Creating Experiences)

A customer journey map helps marketers visualize and understand the steps customers go through when engaging with a company.

Similarly, an employee journey map provides a cohesive view of how employees interact with different solutions at different phases of their lifecycle.

It’s easy to assume we know the experience (because we’re also employees), but mapping the journey (and the emotions experiences along the way) can lead to important insights and help prioritize the moments that matter.

A map shows the gaps between where the experience aligns with company culture, business objectives, etc. – and where it does not. Key moments can be quantifiably measured with an intentional plan – like experience level agreements – to drive improvement.

3. Rapid Iterative Testing (From “Big Bang” to Experimentation)

Before consumer experience came on the scene, product and software developers would spend months developing use cases & requirements, then ruthlessly perfecting every aspect of the product or solution before it ever saw the light of day.

This typically results in MAJOR investments of time and money, without ever testing the viability, feasibility, or desirability of the product or solution.

One way to cut the waste is end-to-end experience (vs. just tech functionality) experimentation and testing.

Rapidly iterating on solutions can solve parts of a puzzle over short time periods – rather than creating one larger solution that may take months or years to execute.

Capturing feedback and refining the original solution on an ongoing basis can generate quick successes and prevent larger, more costly challenges in the future.

Beyond the Consumer or Employee Experience: The Human Experience

It will be hard to revert back to a time when we weren’t so in touch with one another’s humanity – we now know each other’s kids and dogs (who appeared in our Zoom calls), and we’ve seen each other’s living rooms and kitchens and laundry piles.

In the wake of COVID, employees’ expectations will be different; they’re coming off a year of sometimes unprecedented autonomy and control.

It’s a major moment for companies to revisit their policies and procedures. To re-imagine what the future of work can look like. To more carefully and intentionally design the employee experience. And to create a more human work experience.


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