There’s a lot of focus on customer experience (CX) these days. It’s the golden differentiator that every business is chasing.
And for good reason. After all, everyone knows that it’s cheaper to keep a happy customer than to acquire a new one.
Offering a better customer experience is about making things feel easier, less frustrating.
But we’ve been thinking a lot lately about what work itself feels like – in both directions, between company and customer/client. Even between colleagues.
What do these touchpoints feel like? How do they make us feel about how we’re spending our time? Are we often pushing against friction, crossing wires? Are we able to work efficiently and with purpose? Do we trust our colleagues/clients/partners to do the right thing? Are we treating others with respect? Are we being treated with respect? Are we able to mitigate stress? Are we able to action things forward, or are we stuck in mud?
Do we feel burned out, or inspired?
Are we able to be ourselves, connect authentically, and do great work? Or do we hammer through dispassionately? Do we take responsibility? Do we stand up for what we believe?
Time is our most valued commodity in life. Deep down, we’re not sure how much of it we have to spend. We hope we have a lot. So how we spend it matters.
Is your time being spent well?
In the last year, the time banks of many people were cut devastatingly short.
Is your time valued by the people you work with and for? Or by the companies you hire? Do you value your own time? Do you make an impact with the time you spend, either professionally or personally?
‘CX’ is about creating experiences that feel proactive, genuine and effective – where time is coveted. Because time and energy are finite, we want to require less of it from our customers. We want to make the time they do spend interacting with us effective and impactful. We want to mitigate wheel-spinning.
But the essence of that thinking — the championing of time and well-being — goes well beyond CX.
From a business point of view, we can think about it under the wider guise of ‘relationship enablement.’ It stretches across marketing, sales and service. If every touchpoint generates positive sentiment, then the roots grow deeper, the relationship becomes more meaningful. It of course doesn’t mean that everything will always be perfect. It means that ‘doing the right thing’ and following through is never in question – which creates an earned feeling of authentic connection.
It means not secretly selling when you say that you are just helping. It means stepping up the right way, regardless of outcome.
It means being actually authentic (not talking about being authentic).
The foundations for a more human experience
A human platform
Putting human experience as the core focus means actually caring. It means being truly accountable. It means walking away from bad fits. It means being truthful. It means making things feel, well... more human.
It means having the ability to empathize, and to stand up for your values.
If you actively prioritize relationships over and above short term goals, our view is that your business will win in the long term. Your growth curve may not be quite as steep in the near term, but it will be so much more organic, robust and long-lasting.
As an organization you need to have a clear set of defining principles that govern your culture. You need to be able to communicate and prove those values in every internal and external touchpoint you have. You need to have a method of measuring expression of those values, and have a process to continually improve.
The stakeholders who own and promote these values will be able to advocate with genuine passion – because they actually believe in them.
A technology platform
Generally, relationships with customers are managed in different ways by different teams - marketing, sales, service, support. Information can and often does live in different places. The cost of that is that companies don’t have a centralized view of their customers that allows them to create a better experience and make better use of their time.
Not asking them to repeat the same information to multiple people. Already understanding their needs, interests and priorities and being able to hone in on what the customer wants to solve for (not what you want to sell for). Having the process around the technology to be able to follow through and deliver on commitments. Having a global, transparent view into every aspect of the relationship.
We think the modern approach to CRMs will take a wider view and move toward a more holistically integrated, centralized ecosystem. One where a single view provides effortless, accessible context and ability to respond.
If your contact info lives in multiple places through billing, support, sales and marketing, then you’ll never be able to see who your prospects and customers actually are.
And if you want to be able to actually offer a great experience that feels more human, then breaking apart anything that hinders that will become critical.
Make it feel easy. Follow through. Measure and improve.
The future is bright
We think the goal of having a better ‘human experience’ — where we treat each other with respect, courtesy and commitment, internally and externally — where time is well-used and well-protected — is going to be good for business and good for personal wellness.
Customers will be less and less willing to tolerate insincerity, false claims or sentiments that are not proven through action.
Employees will be less and less likely to want to truly invest their energy and time when they don’t understand the collective purpose (or believe that it’s genuine).
Employers will be less and less likely to continue to invest in people who aren’t driven to make a real impact with their time (through what they do, not what they say).
People in general will be less and less likely to tolerate time away from loved ones, dealing with disorganized communications, false promises or reacting to random requests that are a symptom of having moved too quickly in the first place.
And this is good. We think businesses and people will all become better off as we define human experience as the ultimate core value. The technology that helps enable this will help spark a sea change.
And this human experience revolution will be fueled by people who think we can do better with and for each other, in our professional and personal lives.
Regardless of whether you are building a funnel or a flywheel for your business, we can plan, create and execute rolling content to help you have better touchpoints with prospects and customers.
Find out more about our fully-managed, ongoing strategic content packages for your business.