A few weeks ago while I was on our family holiday over at Rottnest Island one evening before we sat down for dinner I jumped online and bought a house.

That’s right, a house. A real bricks and mortar piece of home sweet home. It took all of 15 mins via an online auction and my legs were shaking in fear the my connection would drop out but then after only placing 2 bids streamers came up on the screen, alarm bells and a digital applause screeched from my laptop with a loud voice over then announcing “Congratulations, you are now the owner”!

If you told me last year that I’d be purchasing a home online I’d be doubtful. The process still involved attending home opens but it simplified the buying steps with price transparency and ease. There was no guess work about other offers and or the uncertainty of being coerced by an agent to up our price, more than required.

The search phase in most industries has certainly been dominated by the online realm. It was not that long ago the real estate search process made the home open pages in the Sunday Times irrelevant. But where organisations could be losing out is in the rest of the customer journey. In this instance the digital experience has been extended to the purchasing phase of the consumer journey.

Let’s take a look at another example of what’s happening in the car industry. Most people probably want to sit in a new car before buying it, but they might prefer to complete the rest of the car buying process online. Tesla, Subaru and Toyota, all accept online orders to varying extents and as of last year Audi, Kia and others also started accepting online orders due to the COVID lockdown.

James Voortman, CEO of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association, said while the percentage of sales conducted entirely online in Australia was still small, local dealers were seeing a rising number of people purchasing without an inspection.

“We are seeing more consumers willing to buy a car sight unseen and anecdotally COVID-19 has accelerated this, but it still is a very low proportion,” Mr Voortman said.

Volkswagen Australia had record web site traffic last year but in the UK, where lockdown has been felt much more than here in Australia Audi reportedly recorded a 59 per cent increase in online inquiries.

The pandemic triggered a wave of projects to improve digital customer experiences: for example, universities extended digital support for remote students; Services Australia streamlined myGov services to help Australians apply for welfare; Bunnings launched apps, introduced a ‘click and deliver’ service and fast-tracked a New Zealand ecommerce store; Coles revealed it was unifying customer IDs across its digital stores; and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment contracted a company to provide initial planning and design services for a new digital platform for job seekers.

Examine your customer journey

To meet customer’s changing needs, it’s not simply about quick deployment of digital experiences. Often organisations put in place a new technology and new experience design and then miss the key opportunities lying in ongoing review and improvement. Ideally, customer experience designers should be continuing to look at and test products even as other teams are building them. 

“It’s no longer enough to have a digital presence and automate digital interactions,” argues Danny Housseas, Partner at Digital Delta, KPMG Australia’s digital transformation practice. 

These issues should no longer be just the domain of CX developers and marketers, Housseas argues. They may seem like CX issues now, but in years to come they may change the way some businesses operate. Just look at Tesla, which has shaken up the car sales model by only selling cars online.

“This needs to start with the leadership at the top – in the boardroom – and then cascade through the organisation so that it is observed in how digital experiences are delivered and optimised,” Housseas says. “Be lean, agile and ready to move and adapt.”

Improving your customer experience through journey mapping will unlock endless opportunities for your organisation. Whether its increasing customer acquisition or improving customer retention and loyalty mapping out improvements in your customer journey will pay dividends.

Need more information? If you want to drive your Customer Experience for better results contact Liv for a coffee and a chat.

This article was written by Olivia O’Connor founder of Liv By Design consultancy. If you’d like to look at ways to improve your organisations customer experience or you’d like to start understanding how to get started with customer journey mapping, let’s chat. Olivia has worked with the likes of Ability WA, RAC and many more.

The full article of Rethinking digital experiences written by William Maher for ITnews is here: Rethinking digital experiences in 2021 – Reimagine the Future with Confidence – iTnews

Meet Barry. Each morning Barry walks into work. A blurry eyed stare and an expression that warns if you ‘ask me how I am’ this morning you’ll likely get a FML response. Barry hasn’t always been like this. Just to get him into work mode each morning he treats himself to a supersonic dose of taurine and caffeine in a can. All to simply find a morsel of motivation to log on.  

After 4 years of dealing with a reporting that line that won’t listen, a micro manager directly above him and a macro manager who finds a way to make everything their idea, Barry has been crushed into towing the line. Just getting paid to be there and get through the days of turmoil.

It’s a far cry from when he first started. He had a flurry of ideas. The more he spoke to customers the more opportunity he saw to really improve things for them and for everyone around him. To strive for some positive results by helping those they serve. But time and time again Barry was reminded of the real purpose of going to work and that was “shareholder value”. Ba-bum! Since then its been clock in, but mentally check out.  

What I’ve described her is an amalgamation of examples I’ve experienced or watched others experience. There’s a graveyard of unhappy employee experience I’ve seen over my career and I want to share this with you today because this is not a happy place. Your staff don’t want to be at work and as such they loose their connection with each other but more importantly with YOUR customers. Happy staff deliver many benefits but none surpass the direct correlation to delivering happy customers.

Happiness and kindness is contagious and it effects every organisations bottom dollar.  

Olivia O’Connor

Can Barry in his disengaged state deliver the outstanding experience you are hoping for with your customers? Ding, ding, ding…. No is the answer.  

Your EX…. (no not your past lover that still checks your profile on FaceBook,) your Employee Experience directly relates to improving your CX. Your Customer Experience. Unhappy employees will do their job, but they won’t go the extra to go out of their way to improve things and they won’t go out of their way for your customers. They’ll tick a box and get the job done but you need more than that to stand out in today’s marketplace.  

Think of the greater good you’d do if Barry instead was able to be a part of a project that required him to talk to and connect with customers to bring about fresh new ideas and then collaborate across the organisation and include others in a journey that delivers customer fulfilment. We are talking about multiple touchpoints of human connection that would exist. And human connection is what drives purpose and the mastery of our skills.  

Support your team with a positive experience. Value them and support them to develop their strengths and capabilities and let them work to surprise and delight your customers.  

OK so if you’re an analytical type you want some evidence over simply here-say. How do we know EX has a positive effect on CX, beyond just making flat out common sense, that is?  

How about we look at some university studies:  

Here are some essential pointers identified in a study by Northwestern University – Linking Organizational Characteristics to Employee Attitudes and Behaviour 

  • There is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and improved financial performance
  • In the end, customers who are more satisfied with an organization’s products are less expensive to serve, use the product more, and, hence, are more profitable customers. 

The list goes on but let’s just say I’ve summarised the nature of a long whitepaper for you.  

Not enough?  

Here’s some stats presented visually by Hays Group global:

Oh ok I’m sensing you liked that one.  

Here’s another stat graphic to get us to a slam dunk. This one is by Mercer Global Advisory.   

So by now I hope we’re on the same page and you’re asking HOW do we get started to aligning EX and our CX?   

In an article by Forbes it outlines the direct connection between EX and CX having 3 key components. 

  1. It all starts with a brand’s “heartbeat.” 
  1. Employee reviews are (just as important as) customer reviews. 
  1. Employees can (and should!) be a brand’s best spokespeople.   


This can cut to the core for so many reasons. In today’s technology-driven world, consumers want to buy from brands that celebrate the human experience. Whilst consumers are buying online it doesn’t mean that they do away with the need to feel valued as a human being as well as having their purchase benefit other human beings. Consider how you are impacting the community and ensure you are educating your consumers on why their purchase decision positively effects someone or something in this lonely world. How can your products and services drive human connection with your consumers and the community.  


Your employees are on the front line of customer experience every day. They will always be ahead of management in the feedback loop or good and bad service so make sure you pave a golden path to your office door. Welcome your team in for continuous and sustainable feedback especially when it has anything to do with your customers.  

+EX = Powerful Influence  🤩

If organisations take the time to open their eyes to the many talents of employees, they can create a genuine, authentic facet of promotion that consumers are more open and trusting to. How many paid promotional messages do you get each day? Wouldn’t you listen if someone you knew was telling you their positive experience instead. We trust people. Let your people gain the trust of your potential buyers. If your employees are however, unsatisfied and disengaged perhaps stick to the pay per click option.  

See what I’m saying here? 

One thing that’s hasn’t been mentioned here is the need for trust, psychological safety and open lines of communication both down up and top down. All of these things are required to form a customer centric and employee centric culture. Perhaps I’ll roll my advice into the next blog. 😉  

In summary:  

Combining customer-centricity and employee-centricity is a smart strategy for a multitude of reasons. Ultimately, every company in every industry benefit from improving their employee experience, because it has a direct correlation to CX, which has a direct correlation to revenue.  

Happy employees mean happy customers, but happy customers also mean happy employees.  

Interacting with satisfied customers not only makes working for your company exponentially more pleasant; it validates the hard work your employees do every day. What’s a great article without an inspiring quote to finish off……

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” 

Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup

Need more information? If you want to drive your Employee Experience and/or Customer Experience for better results contact Liv for a coffee and a chat.

This article was written by Olivia O’Connor founder of Liv By Design consultancy. If you’d like to look at ways to improve your organisations focus on the human side of work and connecting with your customers reach out today.