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In our annual Global CX Trends webinar, we brought together two CX leaders with over 25 years of experience, spanning across Australia and Europe. Our panel featured the Founder and Managing Director of The Customer Experience Company, Raj Mendes and Founder of The CX Academy, Ireland, Michael Killeen. Together they joined forces to discuss the emerging trends in the Customer Experience world and provide tips on how companies can turn these trends into opportunities.
Trend 1: Organisations are facing more complexity
Today, organisations are facing more complexity than ever before as the global economy undergoes the greatest technology transformation in history.
There are at least 5 innovation platforms in 2021 that are highly advanced and working in parallel:
- machine learning / artificial intelligence,
- energy storage and
These platforms are making this one of the most transformative periods in history, just like but bigger than the late 19th century with the emergence of internal combustion engines, electricity and radio. It’s exciting, but it is also incredibly challenging for many industries and organisations, and as we have already seen, many organisations will adopt these technologies but execute on them poorly, leading to a poor customer experience.
These platforms will do one of two things, either they will have a great positive impact, pushing industries and experiences forward into the future, or they will be destructive. The stakes are high and you’ll either see a compounding effect with exponential pain or, if you get it right, you will achieve exponential gain.
To stay ahead of this complexity, you need to understand gaps in the market you play in, what your customers need, and what they value before fulfilling them. Remember also that your ‘customers’ are not just those who purchase or use your offering. Define your ‘customer’ as anyone who your organisation offers value to; the customers themselves, your stakeholders, employees, suppliers. Each and every of these customers’ needs and values can be innovated for.
Starting by understanding those needs and values will allow you to use these platforms in the right way to enable the development of new products, services, and experiences that deliver value back to your customers.
As panelist Raj Mendes said, “It’s no accident [that] ‘complex’ begins with C and ends in X”
Trend 2: A new school of CX is emerging
Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a focus on CX Artefacts: Personas, User Journeys, Archetypes and Personas, and of course, Customer Journey Maps. Journey Maps originate from process engineering and obsessions on topics like NPS for measurement. While both have a place, as we move into a world with greater complexity, traditional techniques and solutions will not cut it. Within the realm of CX Measurement, a more balanced approach is required - going deeper than the ‘traditional’ metrics and considering not only the Customer side, but customer-related Business and Employee metrics:
- Customer Metrics continue to include Advocacy (NPS), Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort;
- Business Metrics including Customer Retention, Cross-Sales, Cost-to-Serve; and
- Employee Metrics with measures including Well-being, Staff Engagement, Staff Turnover.
The problems organisations face now are more strategic, and in order to solve them as CX practitioners we need to be true ‘Systems Thinkers’ considering the systems in which the problems exist and their effects beyond themselves. We must expand the source of our thinking, broaden our mindsets, philosophies, disciplines, tools and techniques. We also need to leverage adjacent practices such as human centred design, visual and creative design, strategic design and tap into ways of working such as Agile and Lean Start-Up.
CX also needs to be anchored in the right problem solving methodology. Up until now we have seen many organisations increase their investment in CX, but have not reached their goals for a lack of ‘action planning’. While you cannot stay in the planning space forever, with this new school of CX emerging, the focus needs to be on defining the right problem, so you can take the right action and operate better and quicker.
The goal is to strengthen our practitioner’s toolkit, where each organisation is better equipped to navigate the world of CX, the ways that they work, the practices they employ and across every facet of their organisation. Ultimately, we need to understand how each plays a part in delivering great Customer Experience.
Trend 3: Employee Experience (EX) is back
Happy and empowered employees create delighted customers, which increases repeat purchase and advocacy, and ultimately delighting shareholders. Employees are a vital link in the connection between customers and shareholders; this is why Employee Experience is so important and COVID-19 has catapulted this essential need for every organisation to an even more significant level.
There are three components to having good Employee Experience:
- Employee value proposition
- Workplace wellness
- Functional success
Employee Value Proposition is key and needs to be grounded in the company mission and purpose. A good EVP is what makes a team member get up out of bed in the morning, excited about the work they are doing. We’ve put together three steps to designing a compelling EVP on our blog here.
Workplace wellness plays an important role. The new workplace is hybrid, people can and will continue to work from home, so understanding and defining what workplace wellness means for your organisation must be a focus.
Functional success is all about setting up your organisation so employees can easily get done the jobs they need to do, setting themselves and your organisation up for long term success.
Just as good CX is grounded in building an emotional connection with your customers, good EX should do the same. In order to get to this place of emotional connection, the mindsets, tools and philosophies in this new school of CX need to be applied with just as much rigour in designing your EX.
As your organisation emerges from another period of disruption and you forge your way into the new year, keeping these three CX trends at the forefront of your mind will allow you to enter 2022 with success. For more insight into any of these areas or if you need a partner to help your company navigate them, get in touch below to chat about how we might be able to guide you and your organisation successfully into the new year.
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