The past ten years have seen the evolution of expectations, from what customers expect from brands and what employees expect from employers, to what the organisation expects from itself, its own culture and reputation. Combined, these expectations define the concept of the Total Experience (TX) – a concept that’s reshaping corporate strategy, interaction and engagement.
01 February 2022 • 4 min read
Industries are taking note of Total Experience (TX). A recent Gartner Survey highlighted the concept of TX as one of the top strategic technology trends for 2022. Defining it as the integration of “employee experience, customer experience, user experience and multiexperience across multiple touchpoints”, Gartner believes that TX is the next engagement X-factor designed to drive engagement, loyalty and advocacy for the organisation. It’s also an essential component of the intelligent organisation, one that’s capable of leveraging changing technologies and human capital capabilities to stay ahead of the competition and market uncertainty.
TX pulls together the multiple disciplines of customer experience (CX), employee satisfaction and corporate culture into a common strategy to create a cohesive roadmap that’s transparent and accessible. The goal is to create the perfect all-round experience – across every channel and touchpoint – from the very first contact with a potential customer right through the entire customer lifecycle. It enriches engagement at every stage, for every stakeholder, so that experience becomes not only entrenched within the fabric of the organisation but is both sustainable and long-term.
While the pandemic played a role in accelerating TX’s adoption and growth, it’s only one cog in a complex corporate gearbox that’s been shifting steadily over the past ten years.
TX has evolved to this point thanks to multiple internal and external factors. While the pandemic played a role in accelerating its adoption and growth, it’s only one cog in a complex corporate gearbox that’s been shifting steadily over the past ten years. It started with organisations recognising the importance of engaging with the customer – to always be one step ahead, pre-empting needs – so that they could meet and deliver to market expectations. Whether the customer sat in the B2B or B2C space, streamlined and exceptional customer experiences have become a competitive differentiator.
Until now, this CX has been enough. But recent events have forced companies to think outside the experience box, and create new channels of engagement and interaction. CX is rapidly evolving towards multiexperience, as organisations become increasingly adept at creating engagements across multiple channels and touchpoints. The reality is that customers want more. The fact they can access a company across a variety of different touchpoints, devices and channels isn’t a wow factor anymore.
Customers and stakeholders expect companies to review their CX in a broader context and to enhance it by adding new perspectives, which is where the idea of TX comes in. It’s a strategic approach that seeks to add value along the expected touchpoints – and the unexpected.
A solid TX strategy ticks four very important boxes. The first is transparency. If information is available to every customer, investor or employee, then the company is serving up a commodity that’s very much in short supply today – trust. TX that blends CX, employee satisfaction and corporate culture into a common strategy and maps them in such a way as to make interactions completely transparent is invaluable.
Experience is the golden thread that runs throughout the customer lifecycle. Companies must be available to customers any time, anywhere.
The second ties in perfectly with the TX ambition of providing a perfect all-round experience across all channels and touchpoints. If experience is the beating heart of customer strategy, then the customer is held at the centre of every engagement and interaction. Experience is the golden thread that runs throughout the customer lifecycle. Companies must be available to customers any time, anywhere, across the internet, mobile devices, apps, social media, live chat, call centres and so much more. After all, what’s the point of the perfect online shopping experience if it’s marred by an unfriendly call centre or poor customer service? By the same token, the company’s reputation in relation to how it treats staff is becoming increasingly important. A strong corporate culture with an employee-first attitude has become crucial in attracting both talent and customers.
The third important aspect is the company’s people. TX is focused on customer end-goals, but it recognises that to succeed it equally needs to focus on employees: the people that make up the heart of the business, deliver the customer service and create the customer engagements.
TX is about understanding how every dimension influences the other and the need for a coherent balance to ensure long-term company success. The key word is ‘holistic’.
Finally, the fourth value add is the fact that TX is about understanding how every dimension influences the other and the need for a coherent balance to ensure long-term company success. The key word is ‘holistic’, which encapsulates the essence of TX and the move away from a focus on optimising individual experience areas as standalone functions. Instead, TX focuses on interactions across multiple, interlinked touchpoints and how these can impact positively and negatively on the company.
A clearly defined TX strategy is undeniably an advantage for businesses today. However, in many organisations, disconnects between the various silos and departments impede the ability to realise TX’s full value. And this is why TX must be a priority for the CEO.
TX is not just CX. It’s not exclusively an investment into front-end technologies and optimisations, or CRM and marketing activities. TX looks at the business value behind the customer – at how to refine products, serve up innovations, drive human potential and transform the supply chain, then pulling every one of these threads together to create a cohesive picture and strategy.
If the CEO, supported by the rest of the C-suite and executive leadership, is committed to embedding TX into every crevice of the corporate culture, this will remove the disconnect between siloes (and between expectation and reality) to create a more holistic view that will deliver a measurable competitive advantage. Ultimately, TX is about finding and fixing suboptimal touchpoints and being aware of their interdependencies to ensure the business remains competitively and ethically ahead.
Companies that commit to a clear and robust TX strategy are more likely to develop lean, consistent and uniform processes that interlink the facets of CX, employee satisfaction and corporate culture and to deliver substantial added value to all stakeholders. TX leverages integrated and intelligent technologies that enable cross-discipline teamwork and provide transparency, insights and excellence. It’s a holistic and cohesive ecosystem that’s shaped by strategy, technology and collaboration and that will create enduring memories for the customer.
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