CX has evolved to a point that it isn’t just about CX and the tools and technology but more importantly, how does it inform the business and help the business achieve desired business outcomes?
A big part of this is in human-centred experience. For companies to drive business outcomes, their leaders must engage with their employees on a human-to-human basis so that employees can engage with companies on a human-to-human basis. Olga Potaptseva, Executive Director for the Customer Institute and the Founding Director for the European Customer Consultancy, agrees. She believes a strong employee engagement program is one of the foundations to drive business outcomes.
She says, “it’s important for companies to have employees willing to go on the customer-centricity journey. It goes beyond a traditional HR approach. It’s engaging hearts and minds. It’s conveying customer centricity in a way that people can relate to.”
When employees are given opportunities, empowerment, and tools to be successful in their jobs, and they see that their contribution is valued, they will be happy. When this happens, they engage and go the extra mile for the company. And this extra mile manifests in caring for the customer and wanting to see them be successful. That’s why it’s important for company leaders to focus on and create a great experience for employees.
But to ensure a great employee experience (EX), corporate leaders must ensure a great culture in which to build and nurture a great EX. It’s this empathic engagement that helps employees and customers alike have positive emotions. Positive emotions motivate them to want to be loyal to and advocate for the company. Olga is noticing a trend that more companies are focusing on the EX to drive customer centricity and business outcomes.
She also highlights that the future of work is that people are going to want to work based on relatability, community, and shared purpose. This is in direct support of the fact that millennials and gen-z groups tend to choose employers that align best with their values.
It’s incumbent on leaders to create a strong EX not only for CX’s sake but also for the bottom line. It has been shown that when companies invest in and care about their employees, productivity improves, employees stay longer and thus, employee recruitment and operational costs decrease.
Of course, building strong CX and EX programs are investments, which require financial resources.
CX leaders getting buy-in from the C-suite has been a challenge for a while. As Olga notes, often this is because CX leaders don’t speak executive leadership’s language of how investing in EX and CX help achieve desired business outcomes. Most often, CX leaders must spell out to the CEO what the ROI is. She says, “as CX leaders we have to have very tangible deliverables to drive from the CX program.” Everything comes down to the bottom line for the C-suite, and if CX leaders can’t prove how CX positively affects the bottom line in a way that resonates with executive leadership, then the company will not invest in CX and EX.
Olga advises CX leaders, in an effort to engage better with senior leadership, to be more diligent with data, to understand the voice of the customer and its implications for the business, and participate with a customer-centric perspective in real business projects. Knowing the projects that are important to the business and making valuable contributions to them will earn CX leaders influence points. This will give them the clout to better position CX and EX projects among the executives. This will result in expediting CX adoption within the organization. While many believe CX is a top-down endeavour, it’s actually bottom-up and top-down. When middle managers and employees understand the purpose of CX and how it resonates for them, they are more motivated to help CX leaders influence the executive team.
The Customer Institute is a not-for-profit, global organization whose mission is to set the gold standard for CX and customer-centricity. The Customer Institute is the go-to destination for B2B, B2C, and public-sector organizations looking to excel through customer-centricity. Its leadership includes some of the best thought leaders, consultants, practitioners, innovators, and academians in the global CX space today. Through its certification and assessment programs, the Customer Institute enables and recognizes excellence in customer-centricity.
Joining the Customer Institute as a corporate member gives organizations a competitive advantage of being a CX leader in their sector and gives them the opportunity to set the CX and customer-centricity bar in their sectors. The Customer Institute is currently accepting new members. To join as a member or to find out more information, contact them at https://customer-institute.org.