Defining and Driving Return on Experience (ROX) Impact to Your Brand (Part 1)

The practice of customer experience is all about customers – the people who purchase your products and services. In the past several years, customer experience (CX) professionals have created frameworks for how we understand customer’s needs, how we design better experiences, how we measure the impact of their engagement to the organization, and how we innovate to improve their lives. 

Today, CX professionals are expanding their focus to help organizations think differently again, this time by looking internally within their teams. Successful organizations have realized the importance their people play in their success. Their employees, their human capital, their internal resources, their greatest assets – whatever term is used, it is the humans in an organization that make it work.

The discipline of customer experience has naturally extended its reach into advancements in employee experience (EX). Consider this: Years ago an annual survey to customers was considered sufficient. Since then, many companies have seen the value of investing in customer experience. Paying attention to their customers, and optimizing every channel, every touchpoint, every interaction has proven to increase engagement, likelihood to return, brand loyalty, referrals, and ultimately, revenue.

When we look at the “other” side of human experience – employee experience  – we can see the same benefits. When we create better experiences and engage employees, it reduces hiring cost, increases tenure and productivity, decreases churn, and strengthens your brand. These disciplines of CX and EX converge when we think about driving change and achieving those results.

Whether employees are customer-facing or not, their actions and decisions, how they engage with customers, and each other, all impact your business results. The responsibility for building, delivering, and continually improving the impact of customer experience is the employee. It is imperative that we understand the interplay and dependencies of customer and employee experience requiring us to define how to improve, empower and enrich employees throughout their journey and understand the impact this has on the customer experience.

The capability to optimize the experiences of everyone in the ecosystem to drive engagement is what we have termed the Experience Ecosystem(TM). Brands are learning the power of this holistic vision and the coordination of the experiences – customers, partners, employees, suppliers – create the power of their impact and their results. This is the core of Return on Experience (ROX) – how understanding and optimizing every interaction and the experience of that interaction drives business outcomes. In a holistic view, brands that are experience-led outperform those that are not. Brands must constantly seek to invest, improve, and elevate all experiences to define their path in this dynamically changing marketplace.

The Employee Experience Framework: Creating their experiences

We look to employees to deliver great experiences to our customers, yet many of us miss the opportunity to create great experiences for them. Customer experience professionals are well poised to bring this transformation and can help organizations create and design these experiences as well. This can drive positive change so employees can deliver experiences to your customers and create internal business value.

Think about the tenure and productivity that can be gained if new recruits are welcomed, presented with well-planned onboarding programs, and are clear on their expectations out of the gate. On the flip side, consider the productivity and morale that’s lost when it takes employees 20-30 minutes to do something such as scheduling a conference room or searching for information to do their job. The effort, time, and resulting frustration – just like our consumer experience – influences how they act, how long they stay, and what they say about us.  And this has an impact on how they treat customers, retention of customer and employees, word-of-mouth, and other brand impacting factors.  By launching an employee engagement strategy, companies have the opportunity to show their employees that they care enough to pay attention to their needs, identify issues, and reap the benefits that an excellent employee experience can bring.

This approach is what I call “Beyond the Bagels.”  While benefits and perks are important, what employees really want is to be involved, contribute to the success of the organization, feel valued and respected, have the opportunity to grow and develop, and have access to proper leadership. It is about building experiences for them with the same attention and rigor we give to customers.

Employee Experience in Practice

It’s important to point out that designing and improving employee experience is not just about putting out an employee engagement report each year. Many companies survey employees annually on areas like morale, management, and leadership – and then they do little or nothing with these learnings. Alternatively, a company may fix a few things, but they don’t introduce systematic changes that can make a sustainable impact.

Instead, businesses must identify areas that need to be fixed, and introduce practical ways to solve common barriers. For example, one brand (in a pre-Covid world) discovered that after talking with their contact center employees, mapping their employee journey, and analyzing customer and employee information that many of their employees were complaining about neck and shoulder injuries, and were having a hard time hearing customers on the calls. As a result, many of their employees were frustrated,  experiencing low morale and contributing to weaker levels of customer experience.

So they decided to do something about it. They conducted a pilot with a subset of employees. They brought in new headsets and fitted employee workstations with modular sound-proof barriers. A few months after these changes were implemented, the pilot group saw reduced call times, improved customer experience scores for the calls, fewer employee complaints, and reduced worker’s compensation claims since their employees no longer had to hunch over to hear customers. Listening to your employees can make a difference!

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Diane Magers is a Certified Customer Experience Professional, CCXP and the Founder and CEO of Experience Catalysts. She is also Emeritus Chair & recent CEO of CXPA.

Read more about the practical tips Diane gives on how to Build the Discipline of Employee Experience in Part 2 of her blog next week!

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Join us to learn more about CX & ROI in our webinar next week. Our FREE webinar will take place on March 31st, at 4-5 PM Finnish time (EEST), 2-3 PM UK (GMT+1), 8-9 AM (CST)

 

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More insights on CX & ROI at the CXPA Finland webinar on March 31st, with guest speakers Diane Magers and Jaana Rosendahl.