A valuable customer experience (CX) has the power to drive loyalty, encourage retention, improve the business’ bottom line, and leave an impact on a brand’s reputation. As organisations strive to stay ahead of the competition, employee experience (EX) is also central to success. These concepts of CX and EX have typically been seen as separate business initiatives; that is until recently.
The age of total experience
In 2020, because of the pandemic, there was a shift in the marketplace driving more people online. As such, research firm Gartner was one of the leaders that indicated an evolution away from CX and EX as two distinct siloes. For a true competitive advantage, Gartner advises that organisations should view all user experiences holistically as one “Total Experience” (TX).
TX is defined as the practice of combining multi-experience with the customer, employee, and user experience, to provide a truly unified culture that has the power to transform business outcomes. Indeed, Gartner predicts that by 2024, businesses which have embraced TX will be visibly outperforming their competitors. Below outlines the values that organisations can achieve from adopting a TX model to measure both a brand’s digital and in-person experiences.
The value propositions of total experience
At this point, it is worthwhile to emphasise how pivotal TX can be in redefining digital transformation strategies. Organisations that take an integrated approach to digital experience will deliver a more unified service that is both seamless and better aligned to corporate values. With happier employees, customers and users, TX’s value cannot be underestimated.
By allowing improvements to be rolled out at scale across an organisation, brands adopting a TX strategy can reduce the overall cost and the time typically associated with implementation, benefiting stakeholders. However, to do this effectively, requires the replacement of traditional piecemeal projects and siloed decision-making processes with truly strategic thinking.
A more strategic approach is made possible via the adoption of nimble cloud-based services which provide organisations with the ability to add, update and enhance advanced technologies – such as AI and omnichannel – rapidly, and at scale. Yet, to keep pace with this rate of change, and with ever more complex technology and customer journeys, testing and quality assurance should be top priority. This is where automation plays a central role.
Testing, testing, testing
To deliver truly holistic TX, organisations need to ensure that systems perfectly work every time. Outages happen and can impact communication channels, leading to panicked customers and employees. Traditional monitoring tools will not be able to pin-point exactly where and how. Therefore, it is best practice for organisations to automate the testing of CX systems as much as possible. This will save the support agents and IT team valuable time, whilst reducing human error.
Automated testing and monitoring provide the ability to simulate real-world interactions across the omnichannel. For example, proactively testing all contact centre systems to provide companies with direct insight into the customer journey and the employee experience using different communication channels. This enables organisations to anticipate or smooth out any problems before they become a real issue.
To deliver maximum benefit, automated testing must be comprehensive, encompassing self-service – chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) systems – as well as technology used for agent-assisted calls, such as routing and data passing engines, so that the customer always speaks to the right agent with the right data. It should also extend to live call monitoring, especially for remote agents, checking that voice quality and agent configurations are optimised.
The TX effect
In many ways, moving to a TX strategy is a natural evolution from the traditional CX and EX models we have become accustomed to. Monitoring the company’s TX across digital channels, such as chatbots and email, in-person, and traditional phone support, better enables organisations to meet the needs of customers and employees both now and in the future. Automated testing ensures that each part of that process performs as it should, delivering the overall experience as intended.
There is a great deal of value in connecting the omnichannel experiences that make up a customer journey. Whether it is a better culture, saving valuable time and resources or providing a more seamless experience, the benefits of a TX model are plentiful. In such a competitive marketplace, where digital experience is now a key battleground, this is a proposition that cannot, and should not, be ignored.