Transforming the Customer Experience

The challenges and benefits of transforming the customer experience is detailed clearly in the latest bulletin from McKinsey & Co.  The opening statement is that “Companies still have trouble transforming their organisations to capture all the advantages of excellent customer experience.”

If customers are satisfied, or even better delighted, with the quality of products and services that they receive, the business and its people will feel the positive effects.  Motivation to succeed is focused on goals and when customer feedback is positive everyone feels good! 

With increasing automation and robotics, the adaptation to digital processes is a pressing issue for many organisations.  The McKinsey report highlights several key facts :

  • “Any transformation effort requires leadership, focus, investment, and commitment.
  • A true customer-centric transformation often entails rethinking a business or even the business model itself.
  • A fresh focus on the customer, with operational and IT improvements, can generate a 20% to 30% uplift in customer satisfaction and a 10% to 20% rise in employee satisfaction.
  • Transformation requires a permanent, live feedback loop from customers to as many employees as possible.
  • Customer experience is an excellent starting point for a digital transformation because it places the emphasis on creating a happy customer and will also solve a lot of inherent inefficiencies.
  • Designing new experiences helps employees connect with the value they are creating for customers, brings cross-functional teams together, and serves as a shared language that allows different departments to communicate more easily.
  • A customer-experience measurement system links business impact (increased revenue, cost savings) to all the elements that drive customer-satisfaction improvements.”

Transforming employee experience

It is a truism that change is constantly happening, but the pace of change has accelerated alarmingly for many people in the workplace.  The digital revolution is here, heralding the disappearance of millions of jobs worldwide.  Many routine tasks are being taken over by robots and AI software is making decisions that were previously the responsibility of executives and managers.  These changes are affecting both manufacturing and service industries.

McKinsey’s article about digital transformation, referred to above, contains a number of significant references which are worth repeating – “transformation requires leadership” – “rethinking a business or even the business model itself” – “a 10% to 20% rise in employee satisfaction” – “requires a feedback loop from customers to as many employees as possible” – “helps employees connect with the value they are creating” – “all the elements that drive customer satisfaction”.

These phrases are a clear reminder that employee motivation, recognition and reward will always be a vital component of successful leadership and business management.  The digital revolution that is destroying jobs is simultaneously creating different ones.  Retraining for new skills and attitudes will be a necessary part of the change process.  The focus on people and their value is in danger of being neglected in the race for power and market domination amongst the corporate giants.  The impact on smaller companies and industries outside the immediate tech bubble will be felt more gradually, but it will come, sooner than we may think.

The best way to manage change is to be prepared, to anticipate its effects and to start planning well ahead of time.  People are at the heart of every enterprise, especially in the service sector and in customer facing roles generally.  It is essential to keep adapting, by creating new ways to generate happiness, well-being and motivation in the workplace.

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