Reimagining Customer and Employee Experiences in a Video-First World
“The experiences you deliver to your customers are even more important than your products and services.” This quote from Brian Solis of Salesforce captures the essence of what it means to reimagine the customer experience in the modern business world.
Along with Brian, Zoom convened top industry analysts Robin Gareiss and Dave Michels and thought leaders Jon Herstein, Bruce Temkin, and Dan Steinman at our second Work Transformation Summit in April to make sense of the shift in focus on delivering meaningful experiences to not only your customers but to your employees as well. This “total experience” approach recognizes the correlation between happy employees and happy customers and seeks to improve both experiences to humanize how we work.
Read on for insights from the event on how you can elevate your company’s total experience and stand out from the competition.
Enhancing the employee experience
Gone are the days when the employee experience was viewed separately from the customer experience. In realizing how both are inextricably linked to the success of a business, here are a few steps your organization can take to provide the best experience possible for your employees.
Expand your solutions, upskill your workforce
With most teams operating in distributed settings, growing and diversifying your company’s communication and collaboration tools has many benefits. These benefits include maintaining cohesion, increasing productivity, inspiring creativity, and enabling your workforce to learn new tools, helping them to gain new skills along the way.
“The entire workforce will require training on how to incorporate these tools in ways that will increase collaboration and keep teams efficient.”Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer of Zoom
Center your employees’ happiness
Your business is only as successful as your employees are happy. Increasing employee happiness means giving workers the flexibility to choose where and how they work, helping workers maintain work-life balance, and giving them collaboration tools that are simple to use, inclusive, and accessible. Ultimately, taking the necessary steps to make employees feel connected to your company’s brand will show in their interactions with customers.
Help establish career paths
One data-backed strategy from Robin Gareiss for employee retainment is investing in their growth. Whether it’s figuring out the next steps in one’s career or helping them level up in their skillset through learning opportunities and mentorship, employees will invest in the mission and vision of your company if you invest in them.
Reimaging the customer experience
The experiences you provide to your customers is one aspect of the customer success equation, according to Gainsight’s Chief Evangelist Officer Dan Steinman, the other being the value they get out of the products they’ve purchased, as promised during the sales process. Put simply, customer experience + customer outcomes = customer success. Your organization can implement the following systems and policies to reimagine the customer experience.
Go beyond transactional relationships
Customers feel the most valued when they’re engaged in a partnership-like relationship with your company rather than one that is transactional. Partnerships form when companies are honest and transparent, execute and follow through on promises, and incorporate proactive wellness into their interactions.
Proactive wellness, a term coined by Brian Solis, is crucial for the total experience. Extending health, wellness, and mindfulness principles into customer engagements and employee experiences makes these groups feel cared for, understood, and delighted. Introducing opportunities for delight in customer engagements and employee experiences is a competitive advantage because it keeps both your employees and customers happy.
Give customers the power of choice in how they connect
No two customers are the same, and even the same customers have different communication preferences from time to time. Companies must let customers choose their preferred communication channels. Whether it’s instant messaging or SMS, talking on the phone, using video conferencing, or incorporating all three in a contact center solution, letting customers choose how they connect with your company satisfies them most.
Personalized communications are a game-changer
AI is changing everything about communication, including the buying and selling experience. While it may seem counterintuitive, AI can humanize the customer experience by providing insights that create a more personalized experience for customers. These more customized interactions make buyers feel valued, feeding into the above-mentioned points. When customers feel valued, they’ll likely stick with you.
“AI will make individuals better by identifying next steps and key takeaways.”Dave Michels, TalkingPointz
Don’t just talk the talk — demonstrate how much you care
Having a C-level customer success role at your company shows that the customer experience is a top priority for your organization and that you’re making an investment in their experience.
Other ways to demonstrate your care for customers include creating a customer advisory board or simply ensuring that product, customer success, and other teams interacting with your customers have strong internal relationships.
“When you have a C-level role in customer success at your company, it sends a message.”Jon Herstein, Chief Customer Officer of Box
Furthermore, you can improve the total experience by celebrating the accomplishments of your customer-facing teams. Praising your employees for a job well done will make them feel more connected and motivated in their work supporting your customers.
Delighting employees and customers through the total experience
To quote Bruce Temkin from Qualtrics’s XM Institute, “the customer experience you deliver externally reflects the employee experience you facilitate internally.” When your employees feel seen, cared for, and celebrated, the customer experience they provide will bring that much more value and impact.
Stay up to date with the latest trends in total experience and more topics about the everchanging world of work through Zoom’s Work Transformation Summits.