How do you ensure your entire organization lives and breathes a human-centric customer experience, from contact center agents to the executive leadership team?

It’s a critical question for companies to consider in their customer experience journeys.

Fusion Connect co-hosted a webinar titled “Frictionless, But Not Human-less: Keeping Humanity at the Core of Your CX.” Joining Fusion Connect’s Customer Experience Director Mike Travers were Jeanne Bliss, a leadership and customer experience advisor and keynote speaker, and Talkdesk’s Chief Customer Officer, Kieran King.

The focus of the program was on bringing more human interaction to the customer experience (CX). Whether your customer experience  strategy revolves around creating a frictionless customer journey or ensuring a memorable experience, one thing is certain: humans want a more human experience.

In this age of customer experience, companies have an opportunity to generate business growth through frictionless and human experiences – for both customers and employees.

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Here are several highlights from the webinar…

Why putting humanity at the center of customer and employee experiences can be vital for your organization:

According to Bliss, who worked in customer experience for large companies like Lands’ End, Mazda, and Microsoft, companies have inadvertently been putting the mechanics over the meaning of the work. Companies need to think like this: “If we were people, how would we be defined as people?”

“To earn this kind of growth that people love you as a company and love your people is to act in an admirable way and have admirable actions,” Bliss said. It’s all about rethinking leadership that strives solely to lead for growth by also focusing by leading to improve lives.

“At the heart of it, in order to keep humanity at the center, we have to be dedicated to improving lives,” King said.

The importance of mapping out what you want to achieve:

“What we know is you have to start with a united understanding of where you are today and what customers’ goals are,” Bliss said. This begins with creating and utilizing a journey map to better serve customers. However, those types of maps have long focused on what companies want to get instead of what they want to earn.

Oftentimes well-intended personnel focus on what they can get from a customer rather than what they can give. “We have to come to one version of the truth to where you are today,” Bliss said.

There’s undoubtedly some heavy lifting involved to do so. It requires a company to understand its goals and what it wants to achieve, which is often something many companies haven’t articulated in the past.

The critical component of understanding customer loyalty and what drives it:

According to research done by Talkdesk, a cloud-based contact center and artificial intelligence software provider, more than 90% of customers say contact centers can be a driver for loyalty. Meanwhile, about half of consumers say they’ll stop using brands because of poor customer service experiences.

It’s important to understand what drives loyalty. Here are some drivers:

  • Ability to resolve problems at the first contact
  • An agent going above and beyond
  • Agent demeanor
  • Not having to repeat information
  • Consistency in service no matter the channel

“We’re better equipped than ever to do these things,” said Travers of Fusion Connect, citing that more technology is available now than ever before.

The correlation between the employee and your customers' experience:

Customer experience and employee experience are not only highly correlated, they both play a key role in revenue growth, Travers said.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, both are frequently ranked among the top priorities by executives across all industries and verticals.

  • 88% of respondents say it is very important to the future success of their business to have a complete and consistent view of their customers across channels and platforms
  • 55% strongly agree that it is impossible to provide great customer experience without also providing a great employee experience

How companies can build upon the high level of correlation between customer experience and employee experience:

Collaboration is key to fostering a company culture centered around the employee and customer, Travers said.

This is accomplished by ensuring that there’s a balance between serving employees and placing the customer front and center by relaying their feedback to employees and removing procedural obstacles.

How is that put into practice at Fusion Connect? A current objective at the company is to further incorporate customer kudos and recognition of above and beyond performance cited by customers while they're being served.

This is accomplished through weekly updates that provide insight into customer satisfaction performance and highlight the important role each employee plays by relaying customer verbatims recognizing individuals by name. Cascading positive feedback with customer testimonials company-wide is a powerful tool to obtain employee buy-in and foster customer centricity.

How we give and take feedback can make or break outcomes for internal teams and clients alike:

Companies should support their employees by sharing both positive and negative customer-driven learnings with their teams. Feedback is an excellent learning opportunity, regardless of whether that feedback is positive or negative.

Management at every level should aim to consistently focus on recognizing positive customer feedback and highlight to fellow employees what was done well. When negative customer feedback is received, it should be clearly relayed and leveraged to provide individualized real-time coaching and learning opportunities.

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