Experience Management is a way to track, measure, analyze and improve any interaction people have with the organization. Those people can be employees, customers, vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Experience is the perception and related feelings those people associate with the company based on interaction(s) they have had. Experience is measured by quantitative and qualitative means using analytics tools and surveys. Experience management solutions empower organizations to visualize and improve the overall experience within the company in order to achieve better business results.
One of the key aspects of experience management is employee experience management. Employee experiences range widely across multiple touchpoints including IT, (Digital Employee Experience or DEX), HR, security, real estate, and so on. The focus on the employee experience in the last 18-24 months has led to an increasing need for someone in the organization to oversee these siloed experiences; thus organizations have been increasingly hiring Chief Experience Officers for that purpose.
Organizations embark on the experience management journey to improve business outcomes. For example, satisfied customers will generate more revenue, and happy employees will be more engaged and productive. A Gartner report on employee experience projects that organizations whose employees are largely satisfied with their experience are 48% more likely to meet customer satisfaction goals, 89% more likely to meet innovation goals, and 56% more likely to meet reputation goals.
Additional benefits of experience management include:
- Recruiting and talent retention – in addition to inquiring about the specific role or other, general company information, candidates today seek out the business reputation and are highly referencing social sites such as Glassdoor and Blind to better understand the life and culture at the company they are considering. On the other hand, satisfied employees will become recruiting agents. At the same time, higher employee satisfaction reduces turnover and helps with retention.
- Employee engagement and productivity – satisfied employees are also more likely to be engaged, which directly impacts motivation and productivity. Highly productive employees impact the business’s bottom line.
- Improved business bottom line – happy customers will come back and spend more with the company, directly impacting business financial results. There’s a link between employee experience and customer experience, which means a positive employee experience will result in better customer service and overall customer satisfaction.
: The Modern Employee Experience: Increasing the Returns on Employee Experience Investments, Gartner, 2020
A few trends over the past couple of years have changed how we operate and do business, including:
- Global pandemic has shifted our world to online/virtual – many of our day-to-day activities including work, shopping, communication, etc. are now done virtually using technology. That means a bad experience can easily result in loss of business. For example, employees that get frustrated from bad experiences at work may consider switching to a new job. Customers who can’t easily navigate your website or access the information they need, for example, will likely consider alternatives from another vendor.
- Device and app proliferation – a constant increase in device models, OS versions, and applications had led to a more complex environment that organizations need to support. For example, IT needs to support a wide range of device and operating system (OS) combinations across their employee base. An app developer needs to make sure the app works on any device and any OS to retain and increase the customer base. And so on.
- Consumerization of everything – the expectation for flexibility, choice, and ease of use that originated in consumer-originated technologies has expanded to other areas of our lives, including work style preferences and flexibility.
Customers and employees expect to engage with the organization in a multi-channel, virtual manner, and to do so anywhere, anytime, from any device. Thus, businesses must provide enhanced digital services, and the ability to measure how end-users experience those services will become increasingly important.
To manage experience, organizations must be able to (1) measure end-user experience, (2) analyze and visualize the data in order to derive insights, (3) troubleshoot issues, and (4) remediate or correct when needed, ideally with automation.
Measure: to effectively measure end-user experience, an organization should have the ability to capture both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative is normally data collected by systems like:
- Endpoint management tools that capture data such as device health. For example, how much memory capacity is left on the device or what is the battery life status can impact user experience.
- Application performance monitoring (APM) tools that capture app crashes, hangs, errors, etc. For example, have the ability to measure how long it takes to perform a single task. These tools also often track how users navigate an app and provide more information about user experience while in the app, such as how easy it is to checkout or identify where users typically drop.
- Network monitoring tools track the availability, health, and performance of networks. There are many protocols for network monitoring that look at different aspects of network traffic
In addition to quantitative data, organizations that want to manage experience also need to capture qualitative data to better understand the end-user sentiment and capture issues that might not come up otherwise. There are many surveying tools in the market to capture this data.
Analyze and Visualize: once the data is collected, organizations need a way to analyze and visualize the data, normally this is done through dashboards and reports. Some tools use machine learning models to provide additional, more advanced insights such as experience scores, or identifying when a KPI is outside a normal range. This enables organizations to get visibility into their environment and make data-driven decisions.
Troubleshoot: in case of an issue, organizations should proactively troubleshoot to find the root cause of the issue. In many cases, this is done manually which can be extremely time-consuming and often requires the end-user to be involved in this process. In many cases the amount of data is overwhelming and a more guided approach based on past experience can be useful, for example, in a case where the same issue has happened in the past with another user. Additionally, providing admins with more data in context to the issue at hand can speed up root cause analysis.
Remediation: once a root cause of an issue has been identified, the organization would want to fix it. In some cases, the issue can be solved by the user without intervention from the company, for example, a password reset. Ideally, organizations would want to leverage automation and self-service workflows as much as possible to cut down costs and improve the overall experience.
Organizations that are more advanced in their experience management journey would want to transition from reactive issue detection to a more proactive approach where they can identify issues before the end-user notices or their experience is impacted. Additionally, advanced organizations would provide end users with self-service options, providing more flexibility and reducing costs at the same time.