Will the Total Experience (TX) be the key trend for the coming decade?
Will 2022 be the breakthrough year for a new concept that will finally release businesses’ energy and increase success in digital transformation programs? This is, in any event, the promise of the latest buzzword, “Total Experience” or “TX”, introduced by the well-known consultancy Gartner as the response to the upheavals brought about by the Covid-19 crisis of 2020. But what does it actually mean? In this new article, discover the definition of Total Experience, and our view of what it entails if you decide to implement it.
TX, targeting the total experience
Improving the customer experience (CX), advocated for years as the foundation on which growth is built, was hugely undermined by the huge disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis. In fact, the employee experience (EX) took on fresh importance as a result of the sudden explosion in working from home and its organisational and social consequences. A further impact lies in the need to review the organisational experience (OX), to reconsider the resilience of the business, optimise its processes and provide long-term room for manoeuvre. The last factor is that all these changes are taking place in a digital landscape where IT systems have to rise to the challenge of providing a smooth and successful user experience (UX). CX, EX, OX and UX together form a great deal to tackle.
And it was precisely the combining of all these experiences that Gartner identified at the end of 2020 as a major strategy trend. This “total experience” consequently aims to increase the success rate of digital transformation programs by eliminating silos and blending teams and technologies together, with the objective of creating multiple, interconnected experiences for all the business’ stakeholders - customers, partners, suppliers and employees. The total experience is therefore something of a new term to describe a unified approach to competitiveness of a sort we have been discussing for some time. Interactions between people and businesses are only increasing and accelerating, thanks in particular to the rise of digital. However, businesses that opt for a global approach to their performance rather than managing the various aspects separately are definitely tending to differentiate themselves more quickly than the rest, and overtake their competitors in so doing. This explains why the idea of the total experience is so popular in sectors such as retail, where competition is fierce.
Are the CX and EX the foundations of a TX?
They are, and this principle holds true across all business sectors. There is no longer any doubt that constant improvement in the customer experience is a real accelerator of business performance. Some have made it the mainstay of their culture, aware that this can only work if all employees are fully engaged on such improvement as a matter of routine.
Mention can be made here of Zappos, an online shoe retailer that saw its revenue increase a thousand-fold in 10 years by making top-quality CX central to its whole business. Customers consequently have access to a support service that runs 24/7, and where customer service agents are not subject to limits on call length or any restrictions on refunding customers the agents believe have reason to be dissatisfied. Considered as a template by a great many businesses, Zappos also had another strength; its view that only happy employees can deliver lasting customer satisfaction.
A well-known motto that has already formed the subject of a book, “Employees First, Customers Second” written by Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, and also taken up by the famous founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, who used to say, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” The quality of the employee experience (EX) is therefore closely linked to the creation of a successful customer experience (CX), or even a precursor to it. In contrast, much progress is still possible in this area to raise awareness in all employees about a customer relationship culture and improving competitiveness.
The quest to improve the customer and employee experiences at Sofinco
Sofinco started its continuous improvement process in 2014, to boost customer and partner satisfaction ratings, and make employees’ working lives easier. Aware that the customer experience could not be managed properly unless the employees themselves were satisfied, the company set up a continuous improvement process to coordinate the handling of irritants. To find out more and see the results obtained, read Sofinco’s success story.
Symmetry of attention underpins the Total Experience
It is obvious that the success of transformation programs and improving a business’ competitiveness entail all stakeholders rising to meet these challenges. Total Experience (TX) is therefore a blend not only of CX, EX and OX, but also some new abbreviations for other concepts to be adopted, e.g. PX for Partner Experience, SX for Supplier Experience, and so on.
Yet it is not so much a matter of concepts and abbreviations as meaning, i.e. the meaning that is given to everyone’s activities. We are definitely talking here about the business’ development strategy. Do companies still want to use a scatter gun approach to mechanisms intended to increase innovation or optimise processes in the hope that the cumulative effect will add value? Or do they instead want to ensure efforts are targeted within a unified approach, intended to satisfy employees, customers, suppliers and partners so that value creation forms the core of the day-to-day routine of all concerned? The second option is more ambitious, admittedly, but at a time when the extended enterprise is becoming the dominant philosophy, can it really be excluded?
It matches the concept of Symmetry of attention, coined by the French Académie du Service, which explains that customer satisfaction is attainable only if all stakeholders in the value chain contributing to service delivery are themselves the target of the same satisfaction objective from their managers, partners, etc.
The 360° approach to customer relationships and HR relationships with employees, much vaunted by publishers, should in fact be a 360° approach to attention, which is what the Total Experience concept reiterates. Improving customer and HR relationships and supplier quality within CRM, HR systems and quality assurance software compartmentalises approaches and restricts company-wide actions. Our IDhall solution is used to hold all initiatives on a single platform. Such centralisation makes it easier to involve the various stakeholders, builds emulation between mechanisms, and fosters cross-functional initiatives, ultimately contributing to the creation of a total experience.