How to transform customer experience

By Mike Baglietto
Customer experience - CX acronym next to a Transformers action figure
Companies are increasingly prioritizing customer experience (CX). It makes sense, as customer experience directly impacts a company’s bottom line. What is it and how can you improve yours? Let’s find out

First, let’s define what CX is.

What is CX?

Customer experience (CX) is the impression people (specifically, customers) have of your brand based on their experiences. If customers develop an unfavorable impression, they may not complete their purchase or they may move on to your CX-focused competitor.

As Hubspot shares, “the two primary touch points that create the customer experience are people and products.” We’re going to assume your products are amazing and focus on the people side of the house here, because it’s the part that often escapes notice while also being the part that needs to change. And we’re not talking cosmetic changes here, but an extensive transformation.

It starts with a CX transformation strategy.

Why companies need a CX transformation strategy

McKinsey reports that more businesses are focused on “driving a simplified customer experience. . . and building their digital care and advanced analytics ecosystems” to transform the way they interact with customers. CX has become a driving force that significantly impacts how the world views a business. 

  • 80% of consumers feel more emotionally connected to a brand when customer service solves their problem.
  • 56% of consumers feel that the quality of the customer service they receive has a higher impact on how positively they view a brand––more so than any other criteria.  
  • 4 out of 5 loyal customers would leave a brand after three (or fewer) bad experiences.  

Customer experience - a woman on a tablet reading positive reviews of great customer experiences on the internet

Of course, some things may be outside your control, such as ongoing supply chain challenges. But you can still provide an exceptional customer experience when it comes to things you can control. 

The need for transformation is easy to spot, as specific indicators are misfiring, and there’s one sign that’s a dead giveaway . . .

A clear sign you need a CX transformation

Does your company provide opportunities for employees to simply flourish by creating a culture where they feel connected, supported, and included? Are your employees happy? This is key, because happy employees engage with customers very differently than disgruntled employees. 

As hbr reports, “There is a strong statistical link between employee well-being reported on Glassdoor and customer satisfaction among a large sample of some of the largest companies today. A happier workforce is clearly associated with companies’ ability to deliver better customer satisfaction — particularly in industries with the closest contact between workers and customers, including retail, tourism, restaurants, health care, and financial services.”

Employee experience directly impacts how customers experience your company, and this seemingly fuzzy metric must be prioritized by creating opportunities to transform your company’s culture. 

Here are key areas to focus on today to get this transformation in motion:

  • Align your EX efforts with existing initiatives and business goals, to entice interdepartmental and executive support, thereby increasing your chances of success. Help everyone feel invested from the beginning of this work.
  • Strategically eradicate information silos to create a single source of truth by further teaming with operations and technology stakeholders as well as those interdepartmental contacts you made in the bullet above.
  • Partner with HR to hire top talent that shares your CX values.

Let’s explore the last two bullets some more below.

Eliminating information silos to transform customer experience 

When employees talk/text/message with customers, they often need to find relevant company intel—fast. When forced to dig through links and data sheets that either fail to answer their questions, offer outdated answers, or (possibly the worst of all) that have great info, but require specific permission to access, then what could have been a quick and pleasant exchange and sales opportunity becomes a tortuous and drawn-out process.

No one leaves that conversation happy—not your employee and certainly not your customer. They didn’t get good info, likely sensed your employee’s frustration, and are left with less confidence in your value proposition. Score one for your better organized competitor who has already unified its siloed systems!

When it comes to customer experience transformation , companies need a modern intranet offering a single source of truth. They need a hub that employees can rely on to quickly surface answers to important questions and communicate those answers back to customers with a confidence that encourages more employee engagement, not less. 

The intranet needs to work the same way for employees as it does with employees, meaning it’s not enough to have a flourishing and engaged team if they cannot channel that energy to create engaging customer interactions. The truth of the matter though, is that a company with poor CX undoubtedly has poor EX at the root of its problem, whether those companies choose to see it or not!

Hiring the right employees matters as well.

Hiring top talent that cares about transforming customer experience

If you’ve worked hard at creating a great employee experience, you may not have too much trouble locating your next recruit. In fact, they’re probably watching your website for openings right now. 

Customer experience - a woman on a phone reading reviews of employee experiences on professional review and networking sites

Review sites such as Glassdoor, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and even social media channels and forums like Facebook and Reddit have made it easy for existing employees to rant about horrible employers, and to brag about those that are amazing.

And guess what? Top talent regularly read posts on these sites as they explore opportunities.

Glassdoor found that “86 percent of employees look at a company’s reviews and rating before deciding where to apply for a job.” These review sites can be the best advertisement for a business that values a cohesive work culture, likewise a negative review could kill your chances of landing top talent with high standards—and these are the precise people who could revolutionize your CX. 

In McKinsey’s State of Customer Care Report, the top cited reasons for employees leaving companies were poaching by competitors, employee burnout, employee dissatisfaction, lack of advancement opportunities, and poor work–life balance. Broken down into layman’s terms – the employees left because they weren’t happy and found greener pastures. 

What are your employees saying online about you, both while they’re employed and after they leave? Top talent will avoid your company if you get this wrong, so partnering with HR to understand how this looks and what needs to change is important.

Creating a culture with amazing EX to inspire optimal CX 

A positive employee experience is ultimately the lifeblood of companies—it just seems that many organizations struggle with accepting this fact. But we all know, when work is good, life is better™

When employees are dissatisfied, their performance wanes and they become disengaged. They also aren’t giving their best when it comes to customer interactions. And catching them at the point of disengagement is often too late. We need to sort out what is at the root of these troubles if we hope to transform customer experience.

Customer experience - a woman who appears dissatisfied with the customer experience

The answer is simple—and solved by Simpplr, as technology plays a big part in EX. 

Technology is the conduit through which employees connect, collaborate, and communicate concerns to you, assuming you have the capabilities in place to monitor it via Employee Listening.

Companies need to face their technology disconnect head-on to get the right pieces in place.

The technology disconnect 

Harvard business review cites that only 30% of employees are satisfied with their company’s technology. Furthermore, that same report revealed that employees are 230% more engaged when technology supports them at work. 

With the right technology, companies everywhere can create an environment where employees simply flourish and CX improves. And that is where a modern intranet comes in. It offers numerous assists, including:

  • Energizing employees with relevant news broadcast across multiple channels, reaching them where they are with timely and meaningful updates
  • Understanding employee sentiments with real-time feedback on communications that help internal communications (IC) validate the voice of the employee and reinforce a caring company culture while  nurturing a strong sense of community.
  • Providing a personalized EX and improving employee satisfaction with immediate access to documents and information they need to do their jobs, and filtering out irrelevant items that waste time and cause frustration.

A modern intranet reduces friction for the user and this impacts, and ultimately improves, CX

To transform customer experience, you have to start with creating an exceptional employee experience. If a company places value on its employees, the employees will in turn place value on their job – whatever that job may be, including putting forth their best CX efforts. It’s a simple give and take, and one we help you quickly sort out.

If you’re ready to improve your EX and CX by upgrading your intranet, reach out for a demo!

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