Why you need a Total Experience strategy
What is Total Experience?
Total experience (TX) is a way of doing business that connects how employees feel (employee experience or EX), how customers feel (customer experience or CX), how users feel when using products or services (user experience or UX), and how all these experiences come together (multi-experience or MX). The goal is to create a better and more complete experience for everyone involved. A successful TX strategy results in a seamless, delightful, and empowering encounter with a brand for both external and internal stakeholders.
To understand each aspect of the total experience better, let's break it down step by step:
Employee experience (EX)
Includes all employee interactions while working at a company.
Customer experience (CX)
Covers how customers interact with a brand before and after buying a product or using a service.
User experience (UX)
Focuses on how easy and enjoyable it is for people to use a specific product or service. It includes design, how well it works, and how user-friendly it is.
Is about the overall experience someone has with your brand across different digital platforms and devices. It ensures the user's experience is excellent no matter where or how they interact with your brand. Multi-experience goes beyond just connecting different channels – it strongly emphasises guaranteeing the user's experience is brilliant everywhere.
What are the problems associated with taking a Total Experience approach?
Implementing a Total Experience approach in an organisation can bring about significant benefits, but it also comes with its share of challenges and potential problems, which we’re sure many readers will recognise.
Complexity and integration:
Integrating employee, customer, and user experiences across various touchpoints and departments can be complex. Different teams may have their own priorities and goals, making it challenging to align everyone towards a unified experience strategy.
Employees and leadership may need to change their mindset and behaviours to prioritise experience at every level, which can be met with resistance.
Implementing TX may require technology, training, and resource investments. Allocating sufficient budget and resources while ensuring a balanced distribution among different experience dimensions can be a hurdle.
Collecting, analysing, and synthesising data from employee, customer, and user feedback can be overwhelming. Organisations need effective data management strategies to extract meaningful insights and drive actionable improvements.
Measurement and metrics:
Defining appropriate metrics to measure the success of a TX strategy, for example, quantifying the impact of improved experiences on business outcomes, such as revenue or customer retention, can be complex.
Silos and communication:
Organisational silos can hinder the exchange of information and collaboration. Effective communication and collaboration between departments are essential for a seamless experience.
Shifting to a TX approach may require changes in processes, roles, and responsibilities. Managing this change while minimising disruptions and ensuring employee buy-in can be difficult.
The temptation to focus first on customer and user experiences may lead to neglecting the employee experience. A lack of attention to employees' needs and well-being could lead to decreased morale and productivity.
Adopting new technologies:
Incorporating new technologies to enhance experiences, such as AI, ML, or advanced analytics, may require specialised knowledge and skills that the organisation lacks.
Lack of alignment with strategy:
If the TX approach is not aligned with the organisation's overall strategy and goals, it may not yield the expected results. Ensuring that the TX strategy aligns with the broader business objectives is crucial to avoid unintended consequences.
Sustaining a focus on TX over the long term requires ongoing commitment and dedication. It's not just a one-time effort but a continuous process of improvement and adaptation.
Resistance to change:
This is hinted at above but worth calling out again. Employees, especially those accustomed to traditional operating methods, may resist the changes associated with TX implementation.
Organisations need clear leadership support, effective change management strategies, ongoing communication, dedicated cross-functional teams, and a commitment to a customer-centric and employee-centric mindset throughout the organisation to address these challenges.
The benefits of a Total Experience approach
Now that we’ve had a look at the problems let's delve into the benefits of a Total Experience (TX) strategy. It may be difficult and challenging, but there is a huge upside to getting it right.
Higher customer satisfaction:
By focusing on all aspects of experience, including those of employees, customers, and users, TX aims to improve overall satisfaction. Satisfied employees are more likely to deliver better service, leading to happier customers and users.
When all parties involved have positive experiences, loyalty increases. Loyal employees are more committed and motivated, loyal customers are more likely to continue purchasing, and loyal users are more inclined to stick with a product or service.
Integrating employee, customer, and user experiences creates consistent and seamless interaction across different touchpoints. This consistency can lead to fewer misunderstandings, better communication, and a more cohesive brand identity. Brands that maintain consistent presentation are three to four times more likely to achieve improved brand awareness. The strategic use of content and delivering the right content at the right time and in the right context is vital.
Considering multiple perspectives can drive innovation. When employees, customers, and users provide feedback and insights, it can spark creative ideas for improving products, services, and processes. Data insights are fundamental to enable this to happen.
A positive employee experience can increase productivity and engagement. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to perform at their best, contributing to better customer and user experiences. Making the right technology choices is vital to enable this to happen.
By understanding and addressing the needs of both customers and users, businesses can develop products and services that truly cater to their target audience, enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. 90% of customers will spend more with companies that personalise customer service. Research and insight are critically important here.
A comprehensive approach to experience can differentiate a business from its competitors. Companies that excel in providing exceptional employee, customer, and user experiences will stand out in the market.
Investing in total experience can lead to sustainable growth. Satisfied and loyal customers, users, and employees can drive repeat business and referrals, contributing to long-term success.
Multi-experience (MX) considers various touchpoints, such as physical, digital, and virtual interactions. This adaptability is crucial in a rapidly evolving business landscape where new technologies and channels constantly emerge. The key is to use data to make decisions and the right technology to enable action.
Positive brand perception:
Focusing on holistic experiences can enhance a company's reputation. Positive word-of-mouth from satisfied employees, customers, and users can contribute to favourable brand perception.
Where to start with implementing a Total Experience strategy
Today’s modern workplaces have settled into a remote and dispersed paradigm, and it’s clear that a united TX strategy is essential – as is having the right technologies, tools, and partners in place to enable this.
However, for many large and complex organisations, UX, CX, EX, and MX remain siloed, operating in isolation from each other.
Differing digital and experience maturity across these disciplines is often a cause of customer or employee dissatisfaction. Many of us will have experienced as customers, the dissonance of a transfer from one part of the organisation – where experience is seamless and connected, to another where perhaps, systems and processes are less advanced or connected. The resulting disruption to the customer journey and potential negative sentiment this can cause, can be catastrophic to brand integrity and lifetime value.
The journey towards Total Experience, is therefore a C-Suite agenda item, requiring alignment and focus across the silos of the organisation, and an incremental approach to digital transformation that embraces every aspect of the customer journey.
And there’s a ‘watch out’ here too, that tech vendors typically pay less attention to, which is to make sure that you’ve considered the offline parts of your engagement journey also in terms of any branch network or any paper communications that are sent out to customers during their life with your brand.
Many of the ‘experience’ disciplines most usually associated with TX are digital in nature but failing to consider offline and paper engagement points can also create dissonance and ultimately negative sentiment – not to mention unwanted contact centre volume, that may add both cost and resourcing challenges to an already complex environment.
How can CDS help with Total Experience?
Here at CDS, for almost 30 years, we’ve been helping organisations with strategic transformation. Focusing on enabling change through technology, human-centred design, digital infrastructure, Cloud, data and content to transform customer and employee experiences and optimise business operations.
Our experience tells us that information flow, control, governance, and differently-paced digital change are typical pain points for large and complex organisations – the holistic view that a TX strategy brings can play a huge role in surfacing these pain points so that they can be tactically and strategically addressed.
We’re here to help you identify which areas of your current TX strategy are performing well and which ones aren’t – across the back office, the operation, and into the front end.
But for transformation to be successful and to ensure that it serves every stakeholder, you need to have an accurate understanding of all those audiences, both internal and external.
This is achieved by conducting in-depth, user-centred behavioural insight to get under the skin of the stakeholders who engage with your organisation, understanding their wants, needs, and frustrations. It’s only when the truth of these user journeys is established that you can begin to create an inclusive and equitable TX that has all brand interactors at its heart.
With our insight, digital expertise, technology-agnostic approach, and deep-tech experience, we’re equipped to help organisations identify and choose which strategic and tactical challenges to tackle first to achieve the greatest speed to value.
In short, we remove the barriers to a meaningful relationship with your customers and your workforce.
What services does CDS offer?
Our services span three key areas – cloud and infrastructure transformation, operational transformation, and experience transformation.
We appreciate that change can be challenging to navigate, but we’re experts in simplifying complexity to help you deliver the outcomes you and your users need.
The end-solution will be different for each organisation but could include implementing a CMS re-platforming, system integration, cloud and digital infrastructure, AI, intelligent automation, customer and employee insight, data analytics and content strategy.
It’s our job to help businesses identify their unique challenges and create a successful TX strategy that solves these.
The industry leading partners we work with
We understand that every company is different, and that’s why our discovery phase identifies the most suitable technology to help you overcome your own hurdles and achieve true TX.
To do this, we work with an ecosystem of best-in-class partners, and our tech-agnostic status means we always choose the appropriate solutions for the challenges in hand.
New regulator, new challenges.
Facing tight deadlines, we resolved Social Work England’s speed-to-value-challenge by deploying Appian’s low-code technology and Umbraco CMS to build the Social Work England website.
This meant our team of experts could build applications 20x faster than when using traditional techniques, and seamless connections and integrations created a delightful user experience via the front end of the website.
The future of policing.
We helped to deliver the most significant change in UK policing since the 999-emergency number was rolled out across the UK in 1976. The client wanted a single digital platform for all UK police services to provide nationally consistent, locally branded police services, brought together in a single ‘digital police station’, and for the experience to be as friendly as approaching a bobby on the street.
We used Optimizely (formerly Episerver) software, expertise and modular solutions developed for the Metropolitan Police Service website project to launch SOH, while extending the platform with new core services, and providing strategy, leadership, and service delivery services, 24/7.
Digital transformation that flows.
Serving millions of customers from diverse communities, Yorkshire Water needed a partner that could help them improve the delivery of their online services and design a new “genuinely customer-centric” digital platform that would reduce the number of inbound calls and ensure customer communications were as inclusive and accessible as possible.
We used a hybrid team to deliver the project, which resulted in a 20% reduction in billing contacts and a wealth of new research data that will be used to further improve customer experiences.
Digital experience re-platforming
Insight Investment serves a global audience of investors. To accomplish its objectives, the firm needed an effective and efficient digital platform delivered by an agency it could trust, to help realise its ambitions for the future.
Given our technical depth and security expertise, CDS was chosen to implement Optmizely’s (formerly Episerver’s) Digital Experience Cloud (DXC). This marries the performance and security of Microsoft Azure with the capabilities of Optimizely’s market-leading enterprise Content Management System (CMS) and DXP.
Get in touch
Keen to find out more about how we can help you deploy a successful total experience strategy? Let’s talk.