About the Episode
Welcome to Practically Speaking, a show dedicated to highlighting practically genius ideas in less than 15 minutes. Get takeaways from Annette Franz’s Genius Spotlight episode on customer experience, like how the employee experience drives the customer experience. Lindsay and Ryan then dig into data from Formstack’s State of Digital Maturity report. This week, they cover how the most optimized organizations focus on improving the customer experience. Discover why these organizations find it easy to deliver on customer expectations.
Meet Our Guest
Our featured Genius Spotlight guest was Annette Franz, CEO of CX Journey Inc. The keynote speaker and author has more than 30 years of experience helping companies better understand their employees and customers. She’s known for creating world-class customer experiences for organizations across the globe. Listen to her episode The Truth about NPS and Getting Customer Experience Right now.
Lindsay: Hey, everyone. Welcome to practically speaking the show from form stack, where we dive deeper into the topics that matter to change makers like you. I'm Lindsay
Ryan: and I'm Ryan on this episode, Lindsay and I are reflecting on our conversation last week with Annette Franz and the topic of prioritizing the customer experience.
Later in this episode, we'll be diving into some recently dropped data around this topic, but let's start with your thoughts about last week's conversation with Annette Lindsay. What were your biggest takeaway?
Lindsay: The first one that really stood out to me is that she correlated the issues with customer experience being related to internal employee issues.
So I actually did work in customer service for, uh, nearly a decade, probably in a little bit different of a situation than Annette really talks about. I worked in retail, but still customer experience and. I never really thought about the fact that my employee experience would be impacting my ability to serve my customers, not having the right tools, not having enough bandwidth or time, or having the processes in place to really be able to have a strong internal employee experience are all things that come out and impact you in different ways and being able to serve your customers.
So that's one thing that she said that resonated with. Is just being able to connect the dots between what is happening internally from an employee experience standpoint, to what are the issues impacting customers. And is there more of a clarity and transparency between these two things, Ryan, what stood out the most to you?
Ryan: One of the things Annette mentioned was this idea of the service blueprint and how the internal tools actually impact the customer. If they're outdated or they're not being used correctly, then you don't have an accurate picture of how it's impacting the actual customer experience. Similar to customer journey mapping.
As I know in the similar vein that we use in the software or SAS space, but really thinking about every single touchpoint along the way from every time that a customer interacts with your brand. What that experience is, are there bottlenecks, are there inefficiencies because that ultimately impacts the experience that they have with your brand?
Why not have an accurate picture of what all those touchpoints might be? So I love that idea of the service blueprint that she mentioned.
Lindsay: Yeah. She also brought up the idea that the most important thing to CX teams are the tools and resources that they have. We do talk a lot about process before tools or process before technology, but I think there's also a lot to say in the realm of customer experience and the resources and what those teams have available to them.
I know Ryan, you and I were talking earlier today about the founder of Zappos and his book, delivering happiness and his whole discussion. There was. You can build a successful company. Only if your employees are able to serve your customers in the best way possible. And a net makes really strong points about how a CX team can not be successful unless they're giving the tools and resources that they need.
And so. If someone on that customer experience team does not have the access to what they need to serve their customers, whether that's a chatbot service that they're overseeing to be able to directly talk to customers as they're having issues, whether that is having internet bandwidth, to be able to stay on a zoom call.
For instance, if they're not set up for success. With those tools in technology, then they're not gonna be able to succeed. And then that's also gonna frustrate that employee and that's gonna do that ripple effect, that snowball effect into everything else they do. So I think just considering the idea that if you want to be successful, then you need to prepare your employees, provide your employees with what they need to be able to serve your customers in the best way possible or Ryan, anything else you took?
Ryan: One thing Annette also mentioned was the biggest investment companies can make is not only listening to customers, but actually doing something with the feedback. I think she mentioned that if you're not gonna do anything with it, you might as well throw away the software or the technology, because ultimately if customers are gonna take the time to give you feedback, Actually do something with that feedback to improve their overall experience.
A couple of forms that customers that come to mind in that regard in the sports realm, but Chicago fire and Indiana Pacers, but they not only use the data that they bring in from customers to provide more personal experience, make more tailored offers, but they also use that to attract more even similar audiences and they actually do something to build the overall customer profile up so they can actually.
The experience those current fans have with the brands. And I think that's the key. There is not just collecting data just to collect it, but actually put it into use in meaningful ways.
Lindsay: Yeah. And I think communicating that from a brand standpoint is also very important. I think if I see a brand telling me that we've made X, Y, Z changes because of your feedback, I'm much more likely that next time that survey hits my inbox to actually take it, instead of just delete it.
Like I might do, you know, 90% of the time or so.
Ryan: Now let's dive deeper into what the most optimized organizations do to prioritize the customer experience.
Lindsay: The following stats are from our 2022 state of digital maturity report. This report survey 2000 workers in the us about how they automate their everyday workflows.
The following stats all come from the most optimized organizations, those that are in the most efficient, the most digitized and have the most focus on ensuring that they're serving their customers to the best of their ability. So Ryan tell us about the first.
Ryan: Of those most digitally mature organizations, those optimized organizations, 86% say that improving the customer experience is a high priority.
A net on the past episode spoke about how customer expectations have changed, especially in the past couple years, the Amazon effect of simple buying process, digital first contactless in many cases, and customers prioritizing experience nearly as high, if not more than the product are offering.
Prioritizing that customer experience is truly a competitive advantage for these optimized organizations. And it needs to be seen like that from most organizations themselves. And when you compare that to the opposite in the spectrum of limited stage organizations, only 40% of those organizations said that they prioritize it.
So there's just a huge disconnect, even with some of the survey data. Realizing that they prefer more digital forms, for example, a more digital experience, but them not associating the negative effect on the customer when you don't offer those things. And I think that all comes down to empathy, having empathy for the customer and putting yourselves in a customer, choose as you're building out processes, as you're building out customer offerings, as you're communicating with customers, if you're in their shoes on what you would like as a customer.
You're more often than not gonna come out on the better end of that as far as providing a good customer experience. And I think it's all rooted in customer empathy. And I think it's a big reason why 80% of those most digital mature organizations are also reporting that they do not find it very challenging to meet customer expectations, not shocking that when they put such a high priority on the customer experience, that the flip side of is that they do not find it very challeng.
Lindsay: Yeah, I think you bring up a good point about the fact that they don't find it very challenging because they're able to adapt and be more flexible. They have that priority set. And so my stat is that 62% of the most optimized organizations use workflow automation to provide a better experience for customers.
So like Annette touched on in her episode that there are inefficiencies that can hide within your processes. And they not only greatly impact your employees, but your customers as well. And I think what the most digitally mature organizations have found is that workflow automation is not only a piece for improving your internal employee processes, things that go on behind the scenes, but it can also be used to, like you said, create those better digital experiences that people are beginning to.
Not only. But honestly, if you don't have it, they'll walk away from your organization. So we can't ignore the fact also that a poor employee experience does trickle out into poor customer experiences. So being able to use workflow automation and other types of technology and automation to improve processes across the board, whether it's internal, external employee customer, honestly, at the end of the day, maybe we.
Take those little adjectives away and just think about the processes holistically and how can we use technology to improve those experiences across the board. If you empower your employees with the right tools and resources and use those to automate and improve workflows, that's key to ensuring a great employee experience.
Having those employees stick around. Have them reinvest their time within your organization. And then all of that combines into a great customer experience, especially if you're in something like healthcare or insurance, think about the relationships that you have to build with your patients or with your customers.
And if your organization is able to keep your employees longer, keep them engaged, keep them invested, and then they stick around for the long term. Think about the customer experience there.
Ryan: Thanks so much for joining us on this episode of. Please speaking tune in next week to hear Lindsay talk with Denise Davis about why organizations should eliminate paper, besides the obvious you should. Check out the show notes for a link to the 2022 State of Digital Maturity report.
And as always, you can find your next practically genius idea at formstack.com/practically-genius.