As organizations began to move out of a reactionary period during COVID-19 and entered the Vaccine Economy in 2023, it soon became clear from conversations with buyers that many of them had one overarching focus for the coming months: total experience (TX).
Focusing on ‘experience’ as an end goal for technology buyers is nothing new. However, what’s changing is that organizations are no longer viewing ‘experience’ in a siloed way (traditionally either ‘customer experience’ or ‘employee experience’). Instead, they’re recognizing that by enabling data insights across the organization, coupled with automated workflows, optimized processes and cloud-based tools, that they’re able to think about experience as a whole; where there’s a virtuous circle between employee and customer experience.
In other words, happy employees make happy customers, and vice versa. This in turn creates a ‘stickiness’ with your organization that’s harder to deviate away from. This ties directly into what my colleague Phil Wainewright talks about when describing the ‘frictionless enterprise’, or ‘XaaS’ (everything-as-a-service): but looking at it through the lens of experience as the outcome. And digital platforms, tools and ways of working are key to all of this.
We spoke to many buyers over the year who are thinking this way and for my 2022 Christmas round-up I think it would be useful to highlight some best use cases we’ve seen over the past twelve months. I expect to see more of this in 2023, for which these stories will lay the foundation.
In many ways, that’s our Achilles heel. The people are so lovely, and so welcoming, and so helpful - they say, ‘let me help you with that. I'll just work around it’. Rather than actually everybody saying ‘this is madness’.
Why? It’s hard to think of an industry more hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic than airports. And Manchester Airport Group is still finding its feet, and capacity, as it navigates the Vaccine Economy. What was so refreshing about this story though is how the Group is looking at every process through the lens of: why do we do it this way? And then is thinking about how it’s internal experience layer can better the experience for customers in its varying airports.
We use the cameras to help coach the drivers, to really protect and engage with them. The data that we get helps us have positive conversations about safe driving habits that we want to implement in our company.
Why? Trucking and logistics, again, is an industry that has largely been ignored by the digital wave of innovation seen in more services-based or ‘knowledge’ organizations. Which is why it’s incredible to see how data is being used at Superior Plus Propane to not only change behaviors that impact the bottom line, but also improve the experience for drivers and workers alike.
I think that creating a space where people feel comfortable, allows them to do their best work, without having to worry about how they're being perceived - and investing in that. Some companies are like: ‘Oh we have a D&I manager, here’s some stats for you, we’re good to go’.
It's really refreshing, being a queer identifying person, coming into a place that it's baked into all different parts of the business.
Why? This story, I think, is important in the context of a variety of use cases that are centered around how technology and processes enable experience. That’s because technology and processes can only take you so far. What MongoDB appears to recognize is that values and culture - and most importantly, allowing people to bring their full selves to an organization - is also part of this total experience puzzle. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. More and more I hear from buyers that are only willing to align themselves with an organization that reflects their values - and diversity and inclusion play a key part of that experience.
In order to realize value we need to be able to measure where we are, measure where we want to be and figure out how to get there. The measure we are looking at is our perfect order. And so the metric we are looking at is our ‘perfect order’.
The perfect order is flawlessly taking and fulfilling the customer order - take the order correctly, allocate inventory, deliver the product, with an accurate invoice. We’ve got internal and external benchmarking.
Why? This story from the retail group that owns IKEA is an excellent example of how an organization is using data and process optimization to not only deliver use cases that enhance the experience for the customer, but ultimately change the way the business operates. What’s key here is that data is used in making every decision - to identify opportunities, to implement changes and then to measure their impact. And experience sits at the heart of all of it.
Banks have such a rich scene of data about all of the transactions that the customer is doing, and they're not really making use of it to offer products that would be useful to the customer. When you start aggregating that data in interesting ways, it's really powerful.
Why? Events-driven technology is an increasingly interesting area, when thinking about the total experience of an organization. Whilst historical data can tell part of the story, real-time events allow an organization to respond in real-time to what they’re seeing across their processes. This story shows how a company, 10x Banking, is rethinking the experience of financial services as a whole, through offering personalized services for customers (whilst doing so in a highly regulated industry).
I think that's where the combination of analytics from Google, Dynatrace for monitoring, and then ServiceNow to manage those workflows - combining those into sort of a service ecosystem enables us to deliver that best customer experience. And then making it a great colleague experience so they can focus on adding value for the customer.
Why? If I was to point to one use case this year for our readers to take note of, this one would probably be it. BT is a huge, sprawling organization, with a tonne of legacy and entrenched ways of working. The way that the network operator is using key platforms to enable service, automation and process optimization is impressive. Whilst there is still a way to go, clearly, the main point is that it understands that virtuous cycle of experience between employees and customers - and is striving for that as its key outcomes.
From an end user point of view, I can get data at my fingertips. It’s so easy to use. It’s a one stop shop. And it’s very intuitive. As a line manager, if I’m doing something like annual salary reviews, the system will tell me I’ve got these people in my team, this is how their performance was rated, this is how their salaries compare to the market range, and it gives you a recommendation.
That sort of thing is empowering and we couldn’t have done that in the past.
Why? Another airport story - this time Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport. This use case shows how the organization was strict in its approach to cloud applications, focusing on standardization in order to take advantage of continuous upgrades to better the experience for employees. Using data to make decisions is also at the heart of this use case, as well as a recognition that Heathrow should focus on what it’s good at (hint: it’s not running data centers).
ClinApp reduces the complexity of work, and then enables the efficient planning and execution of clinical trials. The improved operational oversight seen with ClinApp also helps ensure compliance.
ClinApp’s intuitive interface will create efficiencies around onboarding, training, planning and execution of clinical activities, along with reducing costs associated with monitoring. The user experience with ClinApp is also a critical differentiator compared to what is seen across current available systems.
Why? Focusing on experience in highly regulated, complex environments doesn’t come without its challenges, but Johnson & Johnson have shown that through the use of low code platforms and automation, it’s not impossible. The company’s new user-focused platform provides the integration of knowledge processes, systems and data to not only improve the experience for researchers, but also the quality of research. Well worth a read.
Our data team’s vision is actually to enable every single person at Frontify to make an impact on our success with data. So, it's not only the data team's responsibility to analyze data, to uncover new insights from data, but we want to enable everyone to be able to make decisions every day with data. And a lot of what we have done is to make sure that they have the capabilities to do that.
Why? Almost all of these use cases, whilst about experience, have a common theme running through them: using data to make better decisions and to enable employees/customers to engage more effectively with an organization. This example shows what’s required to build a strong data culture throughout an organization.
Companies realize that complexity isn't going away and are now faced with an increasingly harsh macroeconomic environment. To navigate this — and to thrive — businesses need to recognize the vital link between customer and employee experience. Total Experience (TX) should be seen as a guiding light to increased productivity, reduced costs and greater revenues
Why? A shameless plug here, but diginomica recognized that buyers may need some practical guidance as they navigate the challenges that come with building a Total Experience organization - and as such has written a d-book that dives deeper into the topic. The d-book is free to download and shows how to ensure customers and employees are getting the experience they deserve, with evidence provided from real-world examples, across a diverse range of industries.