HX Roundup May 2021 – The Latest in CX, EX and Human Experience

Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Zendesk, The Drum, The Financial Brand, Fast Company, CX Journey, Contact Center Pipeline all feature in this month’s HX Roundup; the best in Human Experience from the past month or so…


Using AI To Track How Customers Feel — In Real Time

This extensive HBR piece by three leading researchers covers the blind spots of common sentiment analysis methods and tools, the primary one being they do not pick up on emotional responses and get to the ‘why’. Their research shows that quantitative style research such as the popular customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS), not only fail to tell companies what customers really think and feel, but can even mask serious problems. 

The article covers their framework and methodology including insight into how their model categorises keywords and responses. It then goes on to outline six benefits from using AI, all with examples. A great read for anyone interested in AI, sentiment analysis, emotion AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the context of experience management.

Read Full Article: https://hbr.org/2021/05/using-ai-to-track-how-customers-feel-in-real-time (Harvard Business Review – by Mohamed Zaki, Janet R. McColl-Kennedy, and Andy Neely)

Customer Experience Trends In Financial Services For 2021

A new report by Microsoft Dynamics 365, ‘Customer Experience Trends in Financial Services: A Research Study’ found that nearly three-quarters of the financial services (banks, insurance, credit unions etc) executives surveyed say at least half of their customers’ switched from in-person to digital services. Craig provides an overview of the findings including budgets, initiatives and areas of opportunity.

Craig goes on to say that there are several developments that cannot be ignored. “For one, ‘physical’ and ‘digital’ can no longer be viewed as two different things. For another, the line between customer experience and employee experience is blurring. Also, demand for…

Read Full Article: https://thefinancialbrand.com/115512/customer-experience-trends-in-banking-for-2021/ (The Financial Brand – by Craig Guillot)

Why Empathy Is Core To Closing The Customer Experience Gap

When brands believe they are delivering a top-notch customer service and consumers report a less than satisfactory experience, that’s a customer experience gap. With so many communication channels and touchpoints, both inside and outside the brand’s control, keeping up is a problem that has existed for more than a decade and continues to grow. This growth is not only due to the number of platforms continuing to increase, but due to the increased spending power of users who have grown up with digital and expect seemless interaction across multiple channels – many Millennials are now in their early 40s and Gen-Z’s are beginning to enter their mid-20s.

These ongoing communication and technical challenges are often seen as the primary cause of the customer experience gap and loss of customer loyalty. However one simple startegy can help alleviate that gap with minimal technical requirements: put empathy at the heart of your business and become a truly empathetic brand.

Read Full Article: https://www.fastcompany.com/90629671/why-empathy-is-core-to-closing-the-customer-experience-gap (Fast Company – by Mark Zablan)

Supporting Your Customers Starts With Supporting Your Agents

With an alarming increase in mental health issues since the start of the pandemic more than one year ago and ever-increasing expectations for exceptional customer experience, what can you do to support your customer service agents?

Zendesk’s 2021 Customer Experience Trends Report found that 70% of service agents felt overwhelmed. And there have been many new challenges for agents beyond the increase in demand and expectations; many are working isolation at home with less-than-perfect setups and possibly even working much longer hours.

Maggie and the Zendesk team provide 4 actionable methods to support your employees, whomever they may be and whichever role they hold. Each comes with one or more cracking examples such as creating regular meetups or groups whereby one of the rules could be that you’re not allowed to discuss work — this is something that has been successful for 729 Solutions where Brandon Tidd says the only rule in their group is that you can’t talk about work.

Read Full Article: https://www.zendesk.com/blog/supporting-customers-starts-supporting-agents/ (ZenDesk – by Maggie Mazzetti)

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Why Exemplary Employee Experience Is Good For Business

Even if you’re not in HR, this is an interesting and thought-provoking piece that goes well beyond the title. Patti talks about company mergers and the analogy of attempting to renovate two old houses and then finding a way to fit them together; families and all. Yes, it’s a challenge, and in a business scenario, employees are your business.

She then goes into some of the cost-savings that are often part of the discussions, and then talks about the negative EX effect (and knock on impact on CX and bottom line), which is often less discussed, yet should be a top priority. The article puts forward excellent advice for enhancing employee experience and workplace culture regardless if you’re going through a merger or not.

Read Full Article: https://www.thedrum.com/profile/zone/news/why-exemplary-employee-experience-is-good-for-business (The Drum – by Patti Alderman, AVP digital experience, Zone)

Ideating The Future-state Customer Experience

Ideating the future state of customer experience via a co-creative customer journey mapping process is low risk and high reward. Simply work out where you are now, and where you want the experience to be in the future.

Simply. Hmm, we all know it’s not quite as ‘simple’ as that. And here’s where Annette comes in with a concise article and loose framework for the ideation process that takes you all the way from ideation itself, to grouping, reviewing, mapping and how to prioritise.

Read Full Article: https://cx-journey.com/2021/05/ideating-the-future-state-customer-experience.html (CX Journey – by Annette Franz)

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Closing the Engagement Capacity Gap

Similar to the previous HX Roundup article, ‘Why Empathy Is Core To Closing The Customer Experience Gap’, this research-based piece from Contact Center Pipeline details findings from their study of more than 2,000 global business leaders that highlight the trending challenge that is dealing with the exponential growth in the number of channels and customer interactions. 

Their study found that AI, cloud computing and analytics showed most promise in terms of shaping customer engagement over the coming years with 88% of respondents expecting to invest in cloud-based CX solutions. While 76% said that engaging with customers using a work-from home workforce and improving employee engagement for work-from-home staff were among top priorities. Overall, it recognizes that to close the engagement capacity gap, a combination of human and technology advances are required to meet new challenges.

Read Full Article: https://blog.contactcenterpipeline.com/2021/05/closing-the-engagement-capacity-gap/ (Contact Center Pipeline – by David Singer, Vice President of Product Strategy for Verint)

70% Of Companies Will Shift To A Hybrid Work Model Post-pandemic – Forrester

In a recent report, Forrester has predicted that 70% of US and EU companies will shift to a hybrid work model post-COVID. And while some C-Level executives are uncertain, it seems that in order to retain top-talent, they will need to adapt and fully embrace the ‘work from anywhere model’.

“While many business leaders are drawn to vaccine passports as a solution to bring their workforces back to the office full-time, in a hybrid model setup, at least some employees can work anywhere they want for two or more days a week while coming into the office on the remaining workdays,” says Forrester.

Read Full Article: https://itbrief.com.au/story/70-of-companies-will-shift-to-a-hybrid-work-model-post-pandemic-forrester (IT Brief – by Ryan Morris-Reade)

New Survey Shows How To Triple Employee Engagement – 5 Steps You Can Take Right Now 

In 2021, an Achiever and Workplace Intelligence report from a survey of 2,000 US employees and HR professions, “2021 D&I Insights” (D&I = Diversity and Inclusion) found that 55% of employees are highly engaged at companies that recognised D&I, whilst only 17% where there is no recognition.

Caroline outlines five methods that can be incorporated into your day-to-day work that require no formal program or budget to enhance your employee engagement and overall human experience.

Read Full Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecenizalevine/2021/05/17/new-survey-shows-how-to-triple-employee-engagement–5-steps-you-can-take-right-now/ (Forbes – by Caroline Ceniza-Levine)

That’s this month’s HX Roundup complete! 

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