Experience is everything. Designers obsess over providing the best user experience when designing products, services and applications. Customer service leaders look for every advantage when optimizing the total customer experience. And human resources teams bend over backward to create an employee experience that helps them compete for and retain top talent.
But organizations rarely consider the total experience—that of users, customers and employees as a whole. Instead, these experiences are managed by siloed teams. But just as digital transformation has removed silos between data sources and departments, the silos between experiences are crumbling. It is time for total experience.
Defining the total experience
Total customer experience is the future of experience design. It focuses on holistically streamlining the overall experience where the multiexperience, user experience (UX), the customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX) meet. According to Gartner,1 total experience "differentiates a business from competitors in a way that is difficult to replicate, creating sustainable competitive advantage." The research firm named total experience one of the top technology trends of 2021, and one that will boost organizations' flexibility and resilience.
Businesses have always known that UX, CX and EX are connected. Poor product UX can lead to increased customer complaints, and a happy employee can leave a customer smiling. The key to total experience is that these encounters are considered not as individual occurrences but as facets of a singular experience.
As with any digital transformation initiative, total experience requires technology that breaks down silos and simplifies combining, sharing and analyzing data across the organization. By making the right data accessible everywhere, you can maximize the value that your data can create, and drive innovation.
The benefits of the total customer experience
An organization with a total customer experience mentality can ensure that they provide a unified experience to their customers with their brand. By integrating these experiences, organizations can gain a competitive advantage. A recent uptick in brand switching makes total customer experience even more imperative; McKinsey notes that 36% of consumers tried a new brand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 73% of them said that they intend to stick with the new brand. A total-experience focused company can leverage this switching to their benefit by creating a winning experience across every touchpoint.
Delivering the total customer experience
If delivering the total customer experience were that easy, everybody would do it.
To strategically compete in the market, organizations need a cohesive solutions portfolio that facilitates and integrates CX and EX. Your technology portfolio should help you:
- Unify communications. One of the biggest obstacles to unifying total experience is that communications are often siloed. By integrating your ability to communicate and collaborate using a unified communications platform and approach, you can help customers and employees connect to meet each others' needs.
- Make data accessible. Similarly, you cannot unlock your data's full potential when it is stuck in silos. By bringing more of your data into the cloud and connecting it to your customer and employee touchpoints, you can deliver a singular experience, no matter the touchpoint.
- Create a total customer experience culture. Businesses might also struggle with siloed cultures. Rarely do UX, CX and EX representatives sit down at the same table to collaborate and integrate their processes. To establish a total-experience focused culture, you should consider using technology to break down silos between departments so that each can understand the needs of the others and how their actions affect total experience.
One way to improve the total experience is to integrate your contact center with your unified communications platform. This lets you connect CX to the rest of the organization so you can better meet your customers' and your employees' needs.
Learn how unified communications as a service and cloud contact center solutions can support the total customer experience.
1Gartner, Gartner Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021, Kasey Panetta, October, 2020.