Stiff competition across sectors, especially in the tech industry, puts pressure on organizations to attract top talent and win customers, thus making both the employee experience (EX) and the customer experience (CX) major business priorities.
While these two concepts have traditionally been treated as separate objectives, the connected, digital world we live in today requires organizations to adopt a more integrated approach in order to stay ahead and outperform competitors on key metrics.
As a result of this growing need for all user experiences to operate together seamlessly, Gartner coined the term Total Experience (TX) in 2020.
TX refers to strategies that connect multiexperience with the customer, employee, and user experience disciplines. Companies that deliver on TX are expected to outperform competitors in key satisfaction metrics over the next three years.
Mastering the TX Strategy
So, how do you master your organization’s TX strategy and validate that it’s working? The answer lies in cloud technology.
A TX strategy is important for businesses because business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions have shifted to become more mobile, virtual, and distributed, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of that, it’s crucial to continuously monitor and test the TX your company is providing its constituents to ensure transactions are seamless and avoid issues that may cost customers or damage the brand’s reputation.
But in order to achieve a clear, holistic picture of the business, organizations must prioritize digital transformation, which includes shifting operations to the cloud to reach a new level of agility.
To assist with implementing your TX strategy, here are a few key best practices for migrating to the cloud and conducting the proper automated testing to gain validation and assurance for a modern, cohesive TX approach.
Break Down the Silos
The concept of TX strives to improve the experiences of multiple constituents (employees, customers, and other stakeholders) to achieve an improved business outcome.
Providing this type of intersected experience can be a key method for businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic to gain differentiation in the market by capitalizing on new experiential disruptors.
A poll by Morning Consult showed that early in the pandemic, 90% of consumers cared deeply about how corporations were treating their employees, with 67% of respondents naming it “very important.” This recent data demonstrates that a strong corporate culture and an employee-first attitude have become a way to improve both internal and external operations.
Part of providing an integrated TX is breaking down departmental silos and increasing cross-functional information sharing. This is made possible by leveraging modern technology to connect departments and prioritize better communication and visibility across the organization.
By breaking down silos and increasing transparency, all team members feel aware of and are engaged in the larger company projects and goals. This creates a more unified culture, which leads to positive internal and external experiences that engage high-level customers.
Since many leading technology companies have already announced that remote work is here to stay, the pressures of simultaneously meeting customer and employee needs and expectations while overcoming distance challenges aren’t going anywhere.
Creating a cohesive TX also is important because it reduces the drag, cost, and redundancy of serving both internal and external groups, so that improvements can be rolled out company-wide at once.
Enable the TX in the Cloud
When it comes to businesses, cloud-based services have aided the expansion of digital disruption as more processes move online. Therefore, shifting operations such as contact center applications to the cloud is a key first step in moving towards a TX approach.
A major benefit of cloud computing is that it allows engineers to rapidly develop complex systems and deploy them continuously on a global scale. However, this large scale can create reliability risks for enterprises.
The three standard models associated with cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
The three standard models associated with cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Most of these services are provided by a handful of tech giants including Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google. However, when these services do not run according to plan, the disruption is far from positive.
Cloud infrastructure providers are constantly developing product enhancements, patches, and updates and deploying these into production in order to increase the reliability of their platforms, bring new features to market more quickly, and allow customers to scale and improve development cycles.
With that said, cloud platforms cannot and do not give end-users any visibility into what is actually going on under the surface of this technology and monitor individual experiences. That is where implementing automated testing, validation, and assurance for TX is essential.
Apply Automated Testing and Monitoring
Achieving successful TX across your organization requires many different technologies working together; these solutions alone won’t tell your team if the holistic experience is working as intended.
Traditional infrastructure monitoring solutions cannot identify certain issues such as the inability to connect to the organization via phone or web chat, interactions with contact center agents, the quality of the interaction as experienced, and how long it takes agents to respond. These limitations are the same whether it’s on a voice platform, chatbot, SMS, or email.
While major cloud-computing outages don’t occur very often, they do happen.
When services live in the cloud, some companies forget to take the necessary steps to reduce incident downtime and believe they can divest that responsibility to their cloud provider.
However, stating that your company’s systems went down because its cloud provider had an outage is not an excuse your customers will accept.
To prevent outages from occurring and limit downtime when they do happen, the best practice is to test all your technology systems with an automated testing solution, so your team doesn’t have valuable spend time and resources running tests manually.
Through automated testing and monitoring, your organization can simulate real-world user interactions across IVR, live agent voice, and digital channels. This approach provides more consistent, deeper testing of contact center customer journeys and employee experiences.
In addition, manual testing can be tedious and more prone to human error than an automated tool. Deploying automated testing and assurance enables your IT team to catch problems and errors before they impact the entire organization and its customer base.
This proactive approach makes a major difference because it prevents a smaller issue from turning into a full-fledged company crisis that can potentially impact sales and revenue.
TX: The Future of Business?
In the last year, an increased number of companies have realized and seen the business value of a connected experience from the very first interaction with a prospect all the way through renewal. An organization with a TX mentality can ensure that they provide a more unified brand experience to their customers and other constituents.
Cloud-based technology is the most effective tool to break down silos between departments so that each can understand the needs of the others and how their actions affect the TX.
By integrating all of the different communication platforms on the cloud, enterprises can connect the CX to the rest of the organization so you can better meet your customers’ and your employees’ needs.
With a total experience approach, everyone wins.