From employee and customer connection to value creation
Entities both in the private and the public sector are trying to develop their customer experiencein the pursuit of business and socioeconomic value. The issue is profoundly complex, and we are diving to its roots in a three-part blog series. Elements of customer experience work as the starting point, followed by a more detailed look into management tips and how customer experience can be quantified, topped off with a view on cultural factors and the future. This first post concentrates on customer experience fundamentals, customer and employee experience (CX-EX) connection, and simple ways to boost employee engagement.
Customer experience and its importance on business performance is nowadays widely recognized. Both practitioners and academics have found that stronger customer experience leads to stronger financial performance and 2/3 of marketers agree to compete mostly with customer experience. In the 24/7 connected economy customers areprogressively more demanding and have begun to expect customised services across channels.Strengthening customer experience is the way to differentiate, especially in commoditised markets.
This has been noticedbymany managementteamsandtrendyCXideashavegainedplenty ofbacking.Still, this potentialoften stayson an abstract level.Without seniorleadership commitment it is impossible to get started, butequallywithoutdefiniteactions it is impossible to get anywhere.Let’s explorehow to initiate better customer experience in a concrete manner.
Elements of customer experience
First and foremost, customer experience is aconsequence andaresult ofmany other things. It cannot be improvedintheblink of an eye.Consumer research, design thinking, andre-branding are amongst many tools toadjustfirms’value propositionsandcreation mechanisms, butwe need to go deeper.Good customerexperiencebegins with people – employees.
A happy and engaged employeeproducesgreat customer value. Workplace wellbeing increasesemployees’performance and boosts motivation.We tend todo betterwhenwe findour occupationinteresting and meaningful.Thisflows fromsmall things likeproductivity toimprovedoutputand finallycustomerencounters in different channels.From the customer perspective, sensing that employees enjoy their work immediately builds a finer experience.As an illustration,Adobe hascreated a shared departmentfor customer and employee experiencewith an aim“to be as exceptional to work with asto workfor”.Whiledirect relationsfrom the CX-EXfunctionto theircontinuous +20%YoY revenuegrowtharedifficult tointerpret,itundoubtedlyhashad a positive effect.Fortunately, there are several commonsensemeans toadvanceemployee experience.
Methodstodevelop employee experience
The simplest way toenhanceemployeeexperienceis to clarify whatareeach person’s responsibilities,and why.Asevery organisation’s mission istocreatevalue to a stakeholder or another, it is quite certainthateach individual’sefforts– whetherin the customer interface or back-end coding–will influence the experienced value ofthe stakeholder.When employees understand the contributions of their actions to customers’ experience,two good things happen.Theybecome moreengaged with their responsibilities andtrulybegin to share the company’s purpose,whichconnects them to the larger community.
Moreover,employees’ sense of accomplishmentcan beboosted with behaviour-guiding targets and metrics. Leading companies aredevoted toaligningall organisational levels to customer objectives with customer-focusedKPIs.In Tieto,customer experience iscentral to performance appraisals and each employee has their related CXtarget.Measuring and following the progress makescustomer experience more tangible, easier tomanage, andmotivating.We have discussedmore ways to engageemployees in greater detail in "How employee experience impacts on customer experience and vice versa" white paper.
Thus, a cohesive customer-orientedculture andan engagingworkingenvironmentlead toan augmented customer experience.This is a force thatdrivescompetitive advantageand bottom line results.The questionsthat may have risen to your mind nowcould be:how can I, an employeeentrenched in internal operations,influenceour customer experience?As a manager, howcan Iset the correctcustomerKPIs?Maybe you feel that NPS is enough, butdoes italonegivetrulyactionable guidance?Thesequestions andnotionsfor surearevery trickywith no correct answers.Though, it is best to adopt a systematic approach tomodel the different functions of an organisationand customer experiencecreation.Oneoptionis to utilise asystemsthinking perspective. We will cover this,differentindicators, and how todesign effective metrics in thenextblog post.