Now for many of us, the concept of change can be a hard pill to swallow. To go through with it and see it to the end can be as fun as going down a metal slippery dip in the middle of an Australian Summer. It looks like a simple ride, but you end up getting bruised, battered, and a burnt arse on every dip. Ultimately getting flung off at the end, sent flying with no safety net.
The reality is though, that change need not be so traumatic and if you are an organisation that has found itself to now be hitting the proverbial ‘ceiling’ then getting comfy with creating change is exactly what it’s going to take to break through. With all good change projects there is a need for a business case. Helping the decision makers in your organisation understand why they should put their neck on the line. Why they should commit funds they may not have spare. Why they should commit resources they already feel are on the verge of burnout. But I am here to tell you unequivocally that if they don’t, you and they will be on the precipice of becoming one of the 90% of organisations (global average) that will shut down within their first five years of being in business. So, let’s get ourselves on the other side of that very heart-breaking statistic and make a case for you to be the 10% who not just survive in business but become a trusted, value driven brand. Who knows, with the right experience and the best performance, your brand could even become… a legacy.
Legacy brands did not become iconic overnight, despite what you think. They toiled, they hustled, they consistently innovated, they led the revolution to deliver value, uniquely. They cared about their customers. They cared about their employees and above all they cared about humanity and the experiences that those three facets all hungered for. This is what creates great CEHX. You see, many if not most of those 90% did not just fall on their sword for one reason. They fell on their sword for many reasons, and all can be traced back to their foundations, strategies and execution of their customer, employee, and human experiences (CEHX). So how do you make a case to become the 10% knowing that to become iconic in anything takes investment of time, energy, and money amongst other resources. Let’s investigate this further to help you help your business understand why moving to a culture of great CEHX is the formula that will get you through that inevitable ceiling.
Customer experience (CX) refers to the sum of all experiences experienced by your customers through every touchpoint of their customer journey involving the front facing and background systems, processes, policies, and activities that effect those experiences. According to Forbes, when your organisation cares about implementing improved CX, studies have shown that you can outperform your competitors in sales by 85%. By just increasing customer retention and giving them experiences worthy of their loyalty, it is the equivalent of cutting costs by 10%. Go one step further and find ways to target your audience and personalise their experiences you will find that 80% of consumers dig that and once they are loyal to your brand, they’re spending is anywhere between 25% and 95% more than that of any new customer (Baine & Co). On top of that already jaw dropping case to care more about your organisation’s CX, those loyal customers will then help you out by sharing their experiences as they are 4 x more likely to refer you to others and are 5 x more likely to spend again. The result? You can save money in your marketing budget, re-invest it into your CX budget and watch the revenue grow as your customer’s word of mouth takes over your need to haemorrhage money through an inefficient sales funnel.
Like the definition of customer experience, employee experience (EX) really is the same thing but for your employees. It’s the sum of all of their experiences from the need for employment to the day they get the job to the day they no longer work for you, in many cases, I would say it has been seen to even go further than that with many of us experiencing employee experiences that some of us would prefer to forget however they continue to haunt us or some of us no longer being employed but continuing a relationship with that employer long after the employee has left the building. As an example, I no longer work for Bunnings but between my old Bunnings friends, we joke that I bleed red and green. Sure, there are some parts that haunt me but overall, my employee experience is one I cherish that I believe put me on a journey that got me right here, writing this article for you. So as a totality, I continue to advocate for my employee experience. Would your employees confidently say the same for your organisation right now? Employee engagement is a good place to start but not the only metric you need to focus on when it comes to your EX. Engaged employees are 87% more likely to stick around according to a recent Qualtrics survey but less than 53% globally believe they feel engaged in their employment. Employees state that they would be loyal to their employer for the company’s strategic objectives however less than 40% actually knew what they were. Before you shift the blame saying ‘Oh there’s posters everywhere’. STOP. That is your ego justifying this sad result. You are the leader. You are response-ABLE. Also, want 75% of your team to become more loyal, then in this business case, let’s consider the impact of poor leadership on employee turnover. Consider the dollars that recruiting due to turnover is costing your organisation. If the figures reported on Human Resources Director (HRD) are anything to go by, you are averaging anywhere between let’s call it $10k – $35k for every new hire depending on their position on the ladder. Sound like a waste when you could be re-investing that into programmes and developing your people? I’d say so. Remember, people leave Managers, not jobs. If there is an exodus in a certain area of your business, it’s time to turn the mirror on the person you put in place to lead that employee’s experience. You can improve revenue 2.5 more times than your competitors when you put the energy into improvements to your employee experience.
How’s your business case for change coming along now? Let’s go for a hat trick.
In the realm where artificial intelligence is disrupting the ways we live more and more every day, there is an element of business that needs to always remain centric to one thing. That is the fact that underneath it all, behind the firewalls, behind the screens, behind the gateways, behind and in front of the bots is the same thing. A human being. It is one thing for your organisation to claim it’s all about customer centricity as a cosmetic confidence token but a brand that sees past the consumer to the complex being is far more akin to becoming a legacy than those who just excel at good story boards in the advertising boardroom. To experience human means that when you go forth to get to that next level of business, to enable you to push through that ceiling you find yourself stagnated under, you need to realise the mental, the emotional, the spiritual and the physical characteristics that make us human. It is connection. When humans feel connected in any of these uniquely human ways to your brand, they are likely to be loyal for 2.7 years longer says Deloitte and that number is then bound to grow in line with your growth.
Experience is the new battleground they say and what’s cool about that is many are simply working on one piece of the strategy, being CX. When you face up to put your case for change forward, I want you to have courage in the fact that you are about to embark on a new way of doing business and that you are taking into account the whole strategy. You have the CX. You have the EX and unlike so many you have the secret spices, the HX which can’t be copied. All put together, this change becomes uniquely yours.
This is how you start your journey to create great CEHX and this is how you find yourselves in the realms of legacy makers everywhere. Now go get ‘em. Because if not now, when?