Where do we start? Bringing CX and EX together
Total Experience is a holistic approach, but the starting point in my opinion should be the two basic HX disciplines that define every organization: customers and employees.
According to PwC research, 32% of consumers are susceptible to leave a brand following just one bad experience. The research states that consumers are looking for speed, convenience, helpful employees and friendly service, which the organization needs to provide in order to stay competitive in the market.
So it’s increasingly important to identify the intersections between these two disciplines to gain this competitive advantage, but also as a survival measure in the post-pandemic era that pushed the hybrid work model and reshuffled customer journeys. Organizations today can feel fragmented and need to create a better alignment between the employees that provide the service, and the customers that receive it, to make sure that there are minimal friction points.
A good place to start would be initiating an Employee Experience Program that will complete the Customer Experience view by capturing the voice of the front-line employees that can share customer feedback in different areas of the journey. The other aspect to handle is the internal "hire to retire" employee journey to identify the pain points that need solutioning; making sure that employees feel valuable, that they have the right tools to provide the service and that the organization provides proper opportunities to advance their career.
My recommendation is to combine the Customer Experience Program and the Employee Experience Program under the same ‘Human Experience’ hood; that is using the same methodologies to optimize experiences, looking at the connection points between the customer journey and the employees that provide the service, to detect the areas that require changes in the operating model.
By implementing a TX strategy, you can design a 360-degree experience that motivates and makes it easier for your employees to work, improve customer service, and therefore impact Customer Experience.
How to create the connection between Customer Experience and Employee Experience
Every organization is providing an experience to its customers whether they do it intentionally in a designed manner or as a random experience, which is an outcome of the operational process. The Customer Experience practice has tools and methodologies that allow the organization to optimize the customer journey and implement solutions that generate value. Looking at the CX practice as the cornerstone allows you to apply the same methodology to other stakeholders such as your employees.
This is done by:
- Promoting trust and transparency between customers and employees, making clear at each stage of the journey which task the persona is trying to complete and how the employees are going to make it happen.
- Breaking down the siloes and merging the front office and back office while using technologies that engage and connect all team members
Creating user friendly interfaces that are used both by employees and customers, increasing user engagement and creating an enjoyable experience that continually keeps them coming back
- Simplifying operational processes hence reducing the time it takes to accomplish a mission and making it easy to do business with the organization
- Designing an Employee Experience strategy, building employee personas, mapping employee journeys and using the same prioritization and measurement concept, as done in CX, leveraging on existing methodologies for the benefit of improving the experience of the ones that serve the customer. It’s a win-win situation.
Practical steps to Total Experience
The goal of the Total Experience approach is to provide an exceptional experience for everyone who interacts with your brand: customers, employees, partners, suppliers, shareholders and others.
The concept sounds logical, but achieving it is a different story, because of the siloed structure of organizations, which is especially impacting the transaction points between departments and customers. It is thus essential to focus on these moments, when developing a TX strategy, to assure friction is minimal and positive experience is optimal.
To make the connection between customers and employees, the organization needs to put in place a fluid communication flow, user friendly tools, simplified processes and a culture of transparency that can help deliver the best possible experience across all channels and touchpoints.
Based on this foundation, extensions to other stakeholders can be established in the path of building a positive experience for everyone.
Don’t be overwhelmed by such a holistic approach, there’s much common sense in this as a business transformation strategy. In future articles I will share some key insights, based on my own experiences in how you can make a start to practically shape a Total Experience model for your organization.