Gartner recently announced the top technology trends for 2022 to enable organizations to deliver growth, digitalization, and efficiency for the next three to five years. These trends help CIOs and IT leaders discover direct digital routes to connect with their customers while protecting margins and cash flow.
Total Experience (TX) has been identified as a key trend that can drive greater customer and employee experience through holistic management of stakeholder experiences. Experts say it creates the confidence, satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy necessary for attracting and retaining customers.
Total Experience puts an end to silos
As defined by Gartner, ‘total experience is a strategy that creates superior shared experiences by weaving together the four disciplines, i.e., the multi-experience (MX), customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and user experience (UX).’ Successful organizations across diverse sectors embrace it to ensure a more integrated approach internally and externally.
Gartner believes in the transformative potential of TX, touting it as the means for organizations to outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both CX and EX by 2024.
Organizations are now working towards delivering an excellent TX by integrating technologies to break down silos. It is impossible to separate customer and employee experience strategies into silos.
UX, CX, and EX are connected and cannot be viewed in isolation. Poor UX will always lead to unhappy customers. On the other hand, a happy employee will work harder to keep your customers happy. Therefore, organizations are focusing on elevating the TX rather than working on each of these components individually to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
TX is the game changer every retail business needs
To elevate the TX, it is crucial to understand its components in detail. These include:
Multi-experience (MX) – It refers to the overall experience a brand offers through its products and services across multiple touchpoints. 32% of consumers won’t hesitate to walk away from their favorite brands after just one bad experience. In Latin America, this trend is even more prominent, at 49%.
User experience (UX) – It refers to the user-friendliness that comes with the design, usability, and functionality of your brand offerings. Modern consumers want speed, convenience, helpful employees, and friendly service, and each of these factors has been rated above 70% in importance.
Customer experience (CX) – It refers to the quality of your interactions with customers across the customer journey and how you make them feel. 63% of consumers are happy to share personal data if it translates into a great customer experience.
Employee experience (EX) – It refers to the overall experience of employees at every touchpoint during their tenure and the way you make them feel. Human interactions are critical, with 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. consumers wanting more of them. The same applies to employees too.
Considering that 54% of U.S. consumers think the customer experience offered by most companies needs improvement, it is important to close the gap between expectations and experiences.
It won’t be easy to enhance all the aspects of TX in one fell swoop. While giving the best experiences to your customers across multiple channels and touchpoints, you need to delight and inspire your employees too so that they deliver stellar service. But it’s attainable with proper planning and powerful tools.
Digital transformation empowers organizations with the data required to offer Total Experience.
Let’s assume a business has everything – a physical store, digital presence, an app, social media presence, intranet, a website, and a database. How wonderful would it be if all these elements interacted and worked in tandem? So, every time customers visit a physical store, you could notify them about offers on different products via app notifications. Your employees could use this information to interact with your customers and drive engagement.
What you would eventually achieve is Total Experience.
Gartner explains it well, citing the example of a telecommunications company. The company deployed an appointment system through its existing app so that every time customers were in the range of 75 feet from the store for their appointment, they received:
- a notification to facilitate a smooth check-in process
- an alert to inform them of the wait time to enter the store safely to maintain social distance
And that’s not all; the company even increased the number of digital kiosks so that employees could simply co-browse with customers to guide them through their tablets without touching their devices. This resulted in a seamless, integrated overall experience for both – customers and employees. The rationale behind this whole exercise was to improve safety and satisfaction.
Several companies are using a similar model due to the pandemic.
TX in action
To deliver the perfect TX, you need to use the machine and human capabilities ideally. You need to close the gap between customer expectations and how your employees deliver them.
60% of respondents participating in a survey said they would stop doing business with a brand if the service offered was not friendly. 46% said they would abandon it if the employees were not knowledgeable. Ritz-Carlton Hotels deal with customer grievances effectively and allow their employees to use up a whopping $2,000 to rectify a bad guest experience.
Happy employees lead to happier customers and a thriving business
Publix is quick to acknowledge this and pampers both. Publix employees will literally walk that extra mile to take you to the item you are looking for. They will guide you for quick checkouts and help you take groceries to your car. These employees get benefits like healthcare, retirement plans, tuition reimbursements, employee discounts, and the status of being an owner of the company. Publix is the largest employee-owned company in the U.S and gives its employees the pride of ownership.
Zappos, too, continues to WOW with its happy community of customers and employees. Among other things, Zappos even tries to keep pace with the moods of its shoppers. Zappos representatives can thus talk about different things to make their customers feel heard and appreciated or keep the conversations to the point while taking orders or facilitating exchanges and returns. These unique interactions are possible due to the management level decision-making power it bestows upon its employees.
Touchpoints to consider for a cohesive TX
There are multiple touchpoints to consider to reach out to customers effectively without increasing employees’ workload.
Website – An easy-to-navigate, mobile-responsive website is crucial. Toronto-based retailer Marquis Gardens uses its website effectively to reach out to customers in rural areas and promote their physical space.
Retail stores – Brands like Rebecca Minkoff are leveraging technology to ensure innovative in-store experiences. Apart from smart mirrors and self-checkouts, the store has a digital wall that helps you order a drink or request assistance.
Social media – Social media sites are now adding ‘shoppable’ functionality to their sites so that shoppers can instantly buy what they like. Instagram is leading this trend. With powerful technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, brands like Charlotte Tilbury urge shoppers to virtually ‘try-on’ myriad make-up looks using AR-powered digital mirrors.
Of course, there are other touchpoints too that necessitate a cross-functional collaboration. The key is to identify avenues and opportunities to ensure that customer experience is not fragmented and disparate across digital and physical channels. You must leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to eliminate data silos and identify gaps.
Offer stellar Total Experience with Trigent
It may not be easy to master TX in the current digitized experience economy. But you can work towards it to accelerate business value and drive satisfaction and loyalty among employees and customers.
Trigent can partner with you to create the perfect integrated customer journey and offer the best TX.