What’s in a word? Yes, a lot actually. My one word”an experience“.
“Experience” currently occurs only in one place in organizations. This is in the Customer Experience (CX) section. You may not have a CX department. A CX department is generally small (5–15 employees) and its job is to win the hearts and minds of potentially thousands of employees for whom CX practices are a good idea.
The CX department will do their best, but it’s a big ask.
In tough economic times, is there a better way to engage your colleagues with a CX concept that doesn’t require huge costs? Here’s an idea. Label your sections with “Experience”. This might sound weird, but stay with me. Imagine you have a sales experience, a marketing experience, and a service experience department. How can it affect?
“Department of Sales Experience”
Sales has the connotation of “hunters” and is focused on revenue targets and commission payments. “Sales experience” is something else. The “Sales Experience Manager” thinks about how to provide a great experience – delivering value and being “good for the customer”.
These salespeople are invited to their accounts as trusted advisors to bring more revenue and customer loyalty to their organizations.
The “Sales Experience Executive” also evaluates the employee’s experience. Traditional aggressive sales management techniques are not used. Sales experience managers must demonstrate emotional intelligence, empathy, and leadership in the many complex challenges of the sales role and deliver an outstanding employee experience (EX) for salespeople.
“Marketing Experience Department”
Marketing departments are often focused on generating sales leads – and a lot of them. Imagine if Marketing was tasked with creating experiences, not leads? Managers are less inclined to push optimal campaigns to deliver “action”. Experience drives quality, not quantity.
The Marketing Experience Unit understands the need to collaborate with sales and service colleagues to share data and tools to create a real-time 360-degree view of the customer. It aims to convey the emotions of customers – remember the famous Maya Angelou quote? “People forget what you said, people forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Department of Service Experience”
Of all the customer-facing functions, Customer Service delivers the experience today. Contact center software specialists such as Genesys and Five9 will battle it out for CX and EX. So are trade associations such as the Contact Center Management Association (CCMA) and the UK Institute of Customer Service (UKICS).
Now Service Organizations must go further. Creating an “experience” in every customer interaction—using automation to improve both EX and CX. To be the central enterprise hub for customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. Adding an experience moniker helps Service Departments reinforce their purpose and role and further improve the operational experience.
What about other departments?
How about an Accounts Payable department that works with vulnerable clients to solve their financial problems without calling in bailiffs? A Financial Experience department that pays expenses and bonuses without harassment? An HR practice department that advocates meritocracy and the personal growth and development of each employee?
It is possible. Shoe retailer Zappo’s, for example, replaced boring back-office workers with enthusiastic, customer-focused ones when it discovered that boring guys had a negative effect on its front-office staff. One Swedish insurer has surpassed its competitors by acquiring each the employee is accountable and receives a bonus for reducing the internal and external effort (score) of the customers they personally produce.
The Bottom Line
The experience should be a shared cultural value that fosters mutual respect and empathy, whether with customers, colleagues or business partners. The word “experience” helps us understand their struggles, successes and journeys.
Adding “experience” to your operational organizational charts changes internal and external perceptions of management’s purpose and intent. It’s a simple, inexpensive, and sustainable way to reinforce the customer-centric behavior every CEO wants. This will help change your culture for the better.
Of course, measurement systems need to be realigned so that everyone who delivers a quality experience, both externally and internally, is recognized and rewarded. Nothing bad. Try it — and share your stories and results with me and others. I hope they inspire.
Please contact for more information Gerry Brown, or visit https://www.idc.com/eu and leave your information in the form on the top right.