Total experience (TX), identified by Gartner in its Strategic Technology Trends for 2022, encompasses all avenues of experience, whether customer or employee, to transform business outcomes.
“The whole point is to reduce friction across the entire ecosystem ,” says Scott Miller, AVP, XD North America at HCLTech.
Fundamentally, the emergence of TX will shape how organizations interact and engage with people and partners to deliver better, more innovative products for customers, while facilitating new ways of working that stimulate employees, rather than stifle them.
“Enterprises are now embracing TX by taking a holistic, multi-touchpoint view of the customer. It’s now about bringing all aspects of experience into one cohesive, well integrated vision,” says Rachel Powers, SVP at HCLTech, speaking at HCLTech’s booth at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas.
She continues: “Today, you can’t separate customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). To create seamless, omnichannel journeys for your brand, CX and EX need to interact and converge across digital channels and that’s something that’s relatively new.”
Converging experience and driving a TX strategy has been the ambition of forward-looking organizations for sometime. “But it’s only become achievable recently through the technology innovation,” adds Miller.
“We take a holistic view of a brand, corporation or product, including culture, people, processes and technology,” he says.
The experience revolution for better business outcomes
According to Gartner, organizations that provide total experience will outperform those companies that don’t by 25% across satisfaction metrics, including both CX and EX.
In the era of experience-led growth, an effective TX strategy is directly aligned to gaining competitive advantage. In pursuit of this, organizations are looking to transform their operating models to ensure they’re at the forefront of the experience revolution.
“This is a challenge, because when you're delivering a total experience strategy, organizations must bring lots of different departments together in a shared digital experience to pave the way to better loyalty and growth,” says Powers.
She adds: “We live, work and play in the experience economy. Experience is a critical, sustainable differentiator for businesses . If organizations are looking to grow revenue and cut costs to reduce risks, then they need to bring a frictionless, omnichannel, data-driven and highly personalized experience to customers and employees.”
Supporting the experience-led and product-centric era
To support a successful TX transformation and participate in the experience-led and product-centric era, organizations need to embrace digital tools and most significantly, a culture of change.
Commenting on one necessary mindset shift, Powers explains the importance of failing forward, which is the development of an iterative approach to learning in the product development lifecycle.
“When releasing products into the market, organizations need to continue to iterate them on each and every experience touchpoint, which means that they will look very different over a short period of time,” she says.
This ensures products remain relevant from an experience perspective for users.
She continues: “In order to unlock the move to a product-centric organization, businesses need to have better customer and employee experiences, which streamlines processes towards better value maximization. In parallel, this unlocks the operating model around agility and human centricity to bring a product-centric strategy to life.”
Miller adds: “It’s also important that there’s a vision that everyone can grab hold of, when talking about designing experience. Supporting that is an undercurrent tool designed with a DevOps mindset that ties all of this upfront thinking to the real world of agile delivery. And if we don't have that ability to tie everything together on a common platform, then total experience is difficult to achieve.”
From where HCLTech can help in this journey, he explains: “We help align the vision to the real world of platform design. It's about helping organizations understand that total experience is not a big bang approach. It's an organic, agile experience over time. Start with the low hanging fruit, build a foundation and help people understand their role in executing the total experience vision.”
Total experience in action
A major electricity provider approached HCLTech four years ago to improve its customer experience.
“We have helped them be transparent to their to their customers in the build up to and during power outages,” says Miller.
He adds: “We’ve created multi-channel digital communications that let customers know in advance about planned and unplanned outages. Web, text and social media keep customers informed during disruptions and enables them to communicate through the channels most effective for them.”
This turns a simple communication opportunity into a competitive advantage for revenue growth. This is a direct example of TX impacting and improving the human experience. It’s an example of how total experience can shape the future of interaction between the end customer and an organization.
“Ultimately, what it comes down to is empathy,” says Powers. "Empathy is key to helping organizations build trust and enable a loyal customer and employee base. From an employee perspective, when they understand the customer experience and its potential benefits, they are more likely to be on board with the strategy and facilitate a more cohesive and positive experience for the long term.”