Digital Strategy, CXREFRESH, Customer Experience, CX, Employee Experience, Human Experience, Digital Transformation, Digital Customer

A sure recipe to fail in the digital transformation is creating a change management program that revolves around technology instead of taking into account people and their experiences: digitization is a disruption that affects the human experience.

Innovation makes sense if it focused on people and their expectations. Digital transformation becomes more than a buzzword only if it creates a great human experience for all the parties involved in the change process.

Everything else, from processes, to technology, digital strategy, communications, and alignment is to be considered a secondary byproduct of a digitalization strategy that hinges on the human experience.

We often talk about customer experience and user experience. Both are essential components of a digital strategy. At the same time, we also know that transformation is directly linked to a great employee experience.

A lot of companies talk about these concepts in term of efficiency, completely missing the point of what those words represent.

In general, then, technology and change processes target people and their experiencesTherefore, the human experience in general, should be the main focus of transformation.

Digital transformation makes sense only if the processes we optimize lead to a better experience for our customers. At the same time, innovation is sensible if this enhances the experience of people who have to work with the new processes as well.

Some innovation needs to be aimed at improving processes, efficiency, and profitability. But when it comes to digital transformation, changes must revolve around human beings and their expectations.

Let’s go through a quick overview of the steps that companies need to go through in order to start a change management process that leads to the creation of a better human experience.

Step 1: Create Meaningful Employee Experiences

All the rules that apply to a digital customer also apply to employees in the era of digital disruption.

Digitization and digitalization revolve around the concept of creating a great human experience. But we can’t solely focus on the experience of our customers.

If we manage to create meaningful experiences for our employees, they will in turn be more likely to be able to focus on creating a great experience for our customers.

The kind of experience your customers will go through is directly connected to the experience you offer to your employees.

Step 2: Define what Success Is with Your Customers

If you want to create a truly extraordinary human experience, your business must focus on leading customers to success. And the first step is identifying what success actually is.

For some businesses the task is relatively easy (in essence, customers of an ISP are successful when they can be online and receive good customer service) while for others it is more complicated since their product or service can have multiple implementations for different use cases.

That’s why it’s important to fully understand what different customer personas expect based on how they’ll integrate your product or service. For specific accounts it’s also important to have a proper dialogue in which goals and metrics can be decided upon while defining a desired outcome.

As usual, customer success remains the ultimate goal of a great CX centric business strategy and hence also the main focus of change management processes that involve innovation.

Step 3: Define and Map the Customer Journey

Innovation always starts with a thorough analysis of the status quo.

Companies that want to create value for their customers know how to lead customers to success with minimum friction along the way.

This process starts with collecting all the information you can regarding the current touchpoints along the customer journey.

Customer journey mapping means tracking every touchpoint carefully. Such a customer experience mapping process is vital to identify potential sources of frustration so that you immediately get to spot areas in which it’s worth investing in order to create more innovative processes.

The next step obviously involves a thorough customer journey analysis. Every step in the journey that causes delay, friction, frustration, doubt, insecurity, stress, lack of trust, or confusion can be revised and optimized to create a better human experience throughout different phases, from discovery, to awareness, consideration, negotiations, implementation, and support.

Step 4: Identify Capabilities and Pinpoint Pockets of Innovation

Before starting with a proper plan it’s worth checking what resources and capabilities your company can already leverage.

There are skills and resources you can already take advantage of but it’s necessary to collect information and data across all departments.

Knowing what processes, people, resources, tools you’ll be able to rely on can differentiate you from your competitors by helping you create a more organic, natural, and human experience.

Step 5: Deal with Internal Weaknesses

After identifying internal capabilities which can be leveraged to support a digital strategy, it’s time to identify those areas in which your company struggles to excel due to the lack of resources, people, or know-how.

Problems connected to know-how can often be addressed by improving recruiting and employee retention processes.

When it comes to issues that involve the lack of technology or capabilities which would take years to develop, it’s always a smart move to look around and:

  1. Create new partnerships
  2. Acquire businesses that master the processes and the technology you need to strengthen and defend your position
  3. Cooperate with startups that lead innovation by including them in your accelerator programs

Digital Strategy   CXREFRESH   Customer Experience     CX    Employee Experience      Human Experience    Digital Transformation      Digital Customer

Reading time: 4 min

Each of us understands what it means to be disappointed by a poor customer experience or delighted by the employee who goes above and beyond. Given the potential upside, dumping money into the customer experience (CX) seems like a no-brainer. But is it, really? Can you engineer an excellent CX by throwing resources directly at the customer or by demanding that your employees deliver service with a smile?

Many businesses certainly seem to think so. The market for customer experience management services and technology is expected to grow to nearly $17 billion by 2022. Companies are spending lavishly on comprehensive CX strategies and building or buying high-tech systems in order to mine what they see as untapped veins of growth. And the data insists that this preoccupation with CX is justified.

However, the methods that many organizations are using to try and duplicate those glowing figures just aren’t delivering. Only 37 percent of businesses surveyed said they were able to tie CX activities to revenue and/or cost savings. That means the majority are, in effect, just spending a lot of money on CX — and keeping their fingers crossed.

When it comes to the customer experience, keep in mind a simple equation — EX = CX

The employee experience (EX) equals the customer experience (CX). A superlative customer experience is the direct result of a solid employee experience. Yet, many businesses jump right past this simple fact, opting to address the CX as if it were something they could conjure up solely as a result of products, process, placement, pricing and profit.

So, you want to take care of your customers? Start by taking care of your employees. Employees interact with your customers, make them smile and carry your brand message. If your employees are having a great experience, so will your customers.

What, then, do we need to keep in mind when we consider the EX = CX equation, and why is the EX side so important?

  1. Your company is your people. People, not legal entities, get things done. Who makes the sales, does the hiring, takes care of the customer, buys the media, teaches the student, tends to the patient or takes out the trash? Does the company do that? We cling to the delusion that corporations take action, make decisions and even have personalities. But, that’s a distorted perspective. It’s the people.
  2. Your employees are closest to the customer. They are closest to your customers’ needs, challenges and wants. They are best positioned to resolve a concern or to delight a customer. They are also in the best spot to feed this information back up the chain so that your products and services hit the mark.
  3. EX = CX. Some organizations spend a fortune on elaborate customer service safety nets designed to keep employees from damaging the customer relationship. Why? Because their employees don’t care. They’re having a lousy experience, so they’re not motivated to provide anything more than that to the customer. Employees will deliver a customer experience that matches their own experience within the organization.
  4. Employees are your brand. “Brand” is the Holy Grail of business; we’re always growing, maintaining, repairing, protecting or defending it. But your employees create it. Not your marketing department. Not PR. If your brand is your promise to your customer, then your employees are responsible for keeping that promise. Your employees are your brand. It lives through the performance, interactions and genuine care of the people who bring it to life on the front lines every day.
  5. Design your EX. Many consider the employee experience in the same vein as company culture — it’s just “the way we do things around here.” But, instead of simply “letting the EX happen,” design the EX you want to create and that will impact your customers in the way most instrumental to your organization’s success. Instead of orienting all ideas around the customer or organization, focus on the employee, with the thought that if the organization has an extraordinary EX woven into its DNA, an extraordinary CX becomes inevitable.


Reading time: 3 min