Without a well-trained, highly motivated, confident employee workforce it becomes very difficult to create and deliver rewarding products or services to customers. Those same employees are the ones who should be fielding inputs from both happy and unhappy customers to help guide successful outcomes for everyone in the ecosystem. If you care about your external customers (who pay money for your product or service) then you must care about your internal customers… the very employees that you pay (salary or whatever) to get stuff out the door! (and reinforce your brand promise as a symbolic delivery vehicle) Indeed, the “company” at the highest levels (meaning the executive leadership and senior-most staff, in the core domains of the company) must treat their employees as their most important customers, identifying their needs, reinforcing the value prop delivery, and ensuring successful outcomes. It’s more than simply keeping that particular kind of customers happy…it’s just as you would do for an external customer– amplify the brand, get the employees passionate for the company’s cause, enable their career path success, create opportunities for significant feedback and iteration, reward exemplary efforts, etc.
For when an organization realizes that the employees are its first and foremost customers, then real customer experience magic happens. It takes a village, true…but it also takes a committed, valued, empowered team that feels respected and part of something larger to deliver to external customers.