CX & EX: Where is the value?

MX Bites / October 21, 2021

Today, we live in an experience economy wherein consumers are more inclined to part with their money for the impression an event or a collective set of occurrences leaves on them rather than procuring a tangible commodity. 

Consumers are spoilt for choice so, retaining their loyalty is directly contingent upon the value they associate with their experience. 

Therefore, customer experience (CX) matters! And who are the primary protagonists responsible for delivering this experience? These are the frontline employees who interface with the customers. 

For instance, it may take longer for you to get to that coffee shop, or maybe the coffee there may cost a tad bit more but, a little extra effort or expense (or even both!) could well be worth it.

 So what is it about the experience of being served by a friendly barista? 

Well, a collection of contributing factors like an enthusiastic employee who is passionate, trained, and engaged ensures that your experience is personalized and fulfilling. Keeping you coming back to have your name announced at the counter followed by “the usual?”  or adding that extra froth to your cappuccino too because, well, they know you like it!

There could be several additional reasons like the right person for the right job kind of thing too but, firing up this passion is one key attribute – the barista’s experience as an employee! And so, just like customer experience, employee experience too matters! 

In short, what this coffee shop allegory suggests is that if you are well looked after, you are motivated to look after very well.

See how we just connected those dots? Great!  Now, transpose this situation beyond the coffee shop example to any other business involving frontline interaction with customers and it still holds true. Take for example airlines, banks, beauty parlors, healthcare, and hotels – customers like being recognized and so do employees.

Recognition is the underlying sentiment here which is a measure of the value that customers associate with making a purchase. And this brings us to the core concept of value. How do we understand the value? Value is usually associated with monetary worth but, what tends to get overlooked in common discourse is it goes way beyond that. The value of an item or a service is the regard in which it is held to deserve; in other words, the degree of importance accorded to it.

Going back to the coffee shop analogy, there are only so many customers and their preferences that can be recalled by our barista. In a large-scale operation, this ‘personal touch’ seems well nigh impossible to deliver to customers and employees alike. And this is where technology can help- by tuning in to what is being talked about the brand in the digital realm by customers and giving them and the employees an easy way to provide feedback or opinions. This analysis of sentiment to a level of granularity allows a sneak-peek into customer and employee intent. 

Furthermore,  allowing businesses to deliver at scale on that personal touch which has predominantly been the reserve of the mom and pop shops. And the best part is that although mom and pop shops may not need these digital tools to better understand their employees, these are accessible in the form and affordability to allow them to get to know their customers better. And for businesses big and small, when done on a continuous real-time basis, this mining of experiences allows for curating insights at the speed of now.

Knowing the pulse of the stakeholder sentiment, both customers’ and employees’, gives the ability to anticipate and thus, be proactive, rather than reactive. And therein lies the true value of customer experience and employee experience.

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