Satisfied customers are a cornerstone of successful companies. Recognizing this, metrics around Customer Experience (CX), User Experience (UX), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) have been commonly used to track customer perceptions, and ideally to ensure that customers continue to buy and influence others to do so.
Fueled by the Internet and fast, connected edge devices, customers are impatient. They expect immediate answers, any time of day, from any location, and using any communication mechanism. Website and app searches must be simple, fast, and effective; phone calls and emails quick and efficient; products and services delivered without delay or complication. At the same time, most companies are actively executing digital transformation strategies to make customer resources available online, improve accuracy and consistency, and reduce reliance on humans for as many tasks as possible.
Employee experience has also gained prominence, particularly for customer-facing roles. Leveraging CX and CSAT derivatives such as “employee experience (EX)” or “internal customer satisfaction,” digital transformation is also being deployed internally to provide employees the processes, tools, and capabilities to help effectively solve customer needs whenever they do want to interact with another human. Employees who feel more valued and equipped are happier and perform better, which in turn improves the customer experience.
The obvious downside to a committed CX/EX focus is the cost to deliver. Staffing, training, and tools are expensive and difficult to scale, as are comprehensive websites and mobile apps. Companies with the best support also tend to collect and store massive amounts of data to improve design and performance of the next product or release, an expensive and often unwieldy practice. To help offset cost, support teams are frequently “offshored” to locations with lower labor costs. Additionally, digital transformation that shifts customers to automated interfaces like chatbots and other self-serve options often has and unfortunate--but predictable--impact on customers, who lose the human connection and begin feel like “just a number.” Similarly, companies risk impact to the employee experience when employees feel less personally engaged with customers who need support. This scenario is amplified if they also have a language barrier.
The difficult balance at this confluence of CX and EX highlights the need to focus on the Human Experience (HX), which is the complete experience a person has with a brand or service, both digitally and physically. HX is driven by human centricity, the idea that people are much more than statistics or data. They are driven by the emotions, needs, and relationships they experience with brands or services. So, while digital transformation reduces the human interaction, HX enables a company to connect to their customers’ purpose rather than just providing a product or service for consumption.
Customer expectations have never been higher, nor has the volume and complexity of data been greater. Traditional CX and EX improvement strategies are increasingly unable to delight customers, but holistic, HX-focused analyses are proving effective at addressing customer impatience and delivering tangible, actionable insights to drive measurable business impacts, including attracting and retaining customers, improving margin, and optimizing digital transformation.