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Beyond the Customer Experience (CX):
The Total Experience (TX)

A total experience ensures the goals of all stakeholders, through all channels and interfaces, are met during an engagement or interaction.

What is a “total experience (TX)”?

Highlighted recently by Gartner, TX is a strategy that creates superior shared experiences by weaving together the multi-experience (MX), customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and user experience (UX). TX is human-centered design at its finest, ensuring that everyone benefits from an engagement or interaction. As in most business transformation projects today, using data and making strategic IT investments are critical to achieving the TX.

In the not-so-distant past, experiences were siloed. Work was siloed.

HR and people managers held responsibility for shaping the employee experience (EX). Marketing and customer service leaders worked to achieve a better customer experience (CX) across channels. Product, program, and service delivery managers cultivated the desired user experience (UX). And multi-experience (MX) developers designed apps independently in terms of how people clicked, spoke, and touched various web, mobile, and wearable interfaces.

Leaders across business units and projects rarely synchronized efforts to deliver human-centered, goal-oriented, on-brand promises to customers and employees.

As EXs and CXs have matured, the need for external and internal integration has come into sharper focus. Gartner believes that “By 2024, organizations providing a total experience (TX) will outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both CX and EX.”

Few companies have managed to achieve the ideal TX to date, although Gartner suggests that heavyweights such as Disney, Coca Cola, Domino’s Pizza, Wayfair, and Hilton are exhibiting the early principles of the TX in their offerings. But, even if a company doesn’t have the blue-chip-level resources to invest, the need for a TX that enables everyone to meet their respective goals and feel empowered while connecting with a brand still exists.

So, what’s involved in creating a TX?

Admittedly, at HGS, we are still working to achieve a true TX. However, in actively and simultaneously working to deliver a superior CX, a satisfying EX, a pleasant UX, and seamless transitions across interfaces for some of the world’s most admired brands, HGS is an experience company that can offer some of the answers, pieces, and methodologies that may be useful to those looking to get started.

Creating a better TX

To HGS, achieving a TX is all about meeting mutual goals and making better connections — among brands and customers, employees and employers, screens and humans, internal- and external-facing departments, and numerous devices.

Finding common ground — finding the win-win — during every transaction is essential.

Assign a chief experience officer (CXO)

A CXO, according to Masterclass, “Oversees and facilitates positive customer and employee experiences for their brands. They do so by creating personalized experiences….”

A smart CXO fundamentally understands human behavior and motivations. They recognize internal and external intersection points, facilitate cross-departmental collaboration, remove obstacles, and bridge gaps. They ensure that every department and every product, service, interface, and channel is both brand- and goal-aligned. They collect data to show where improvements are needed and innovate continuously to ensure customers and employees are equally empowered and engaged.

Clarify the vision, values, mission, and value proposition

A TX can better drive employee and customer confidence, satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy – truly, a well-balanced TX is a CMO’s dream!

Planned and executed well, a TX can promote more holistic, brand-authentic interactions and experiences. TX delivery can demonstrate and communicate, through every human touchpoint, a company’s core values, differentiators and value proposition, and raison d’être. Painting a modern, captivating vision for the future and revisiting the company’s cornerstones can galvanize teams to think of the TX across all projects.

Develop a cross-departmental TX roadmap

Surveys and focus groups are important for gathering data. But journey mapping as a cross-functional team is an important exercise for building frictionless and agile solutions.

Prospects, customers, partners, employees, users, and products and services all benefit from journey mapping. Capturing qualitatively and quantitatively what everyone is doing at each step toward reaching a goal may be an easy way to flag gaps, friction points, and frustrations in the current state and to take note of hand-offs and linkages among departments that still need to be created.

Putting employees at the heart of the TX

Only happy employees can meet evolving CX, UX, and MX expectations. To HGS, they are the center of the TX, and it pays to invest in the EX before anything else.

Investing in onboarding has always been important, but the Great Resignation has made it more so. Harvard Business Review claims that onboarding can make or break a new hire’s experience, and Gartner has indicated that applying UX practices to improve the EX can lead to a 1.5x increase in the likelihood of “effectiveness, productivity, intention to stay, and discretionary effort.”

Intentional onboarding increases retention and decreases the time new hires need to excel in their roles. Giving them easy access to tools, content, and meaningful data for decision making can also help. When it comes to the contact center agent experience, unified productivity and analytics dashboards, such as HGS Agent X, can reduce training time, automate repetitive tasks, empower them to ideate and innovate, and help new and remote employees to forge sticky relationships, all while keeping cognitive loads at manageable levels.

Leveraging technology for a better TX

Technology has always been a business enabler, but never more so than for building a TX.

In TX-focused organizations, CIOs provide employee collaboration tools; dashboards for customers, operations, and HR; bots for automation; and speech recognition for employee and customer insights to help personalize experiences.

Contact center AI and analytics dashboards, such as HGS Agent X, give CDOs and other managers across the organization the data to serve customers better, manage the business, and enable employees to gauge sentiment and respond in real-time.

The information gleaned is also invaluable for the CXO and CMO, who can not only use it to keep a pulse on the CX and EX, but to justify changes to products, services, tactics, and interactions. The 360-degree perspective provided by these types of tools enable employees in all departments to iterate and become agile problem solvers.

The turbulent times of the last two and a half years have created a heightened sense of uncertainty and insecurity among both customers and employees. As a result, brands are reviewing their customer and employee experiences to ensure they have the ability to remain agile to respond to market changes and to deliver on their brand promises.

Although the TX concept is not exactly new, its time in the spotlight has finally come. Embracing the TX, not just the CX, may just provide the differentiation, personalization, and self-actualization opportunities needed for building business for the future.

Interested in the latest and greatest in terms of the digital CX, TX, or even HGS Agent X? Check out our 26-page 2022 Outlook Report or speak to an HGS expert.

Several articles and webinars were consulted in drafting this post, including:

Written with inputs from Venu Gooty, SVP, Digital Strategy & Transformation, HGS Digital

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