Let's ask ourselves a seemingly simple question: if, thanks to new technologies, agile methodologies and the possibility of shedding routine tasks, an employee is better able to complete his or her work sooner, who wins? Option A: the employee, who will have more free time. Option B: the company, which will be able to order more for less from that employee, increasing their productivity. Option C: the customer, who will see their expectations fulfilled thanks to an employee who is more involved with their needs.

The answer to this question is open-ended, but only one is symptomatic of a forward-thinking business mindset. To shed light on the best answer, let's look at a recent Gartner survey: 17 out of 20 customer experience executives believe that employee engagement has an equal or greater impact than other factors such as project management or data analytics skills.

La Experiencia de Cliente es «un asunto de personas», afirma en ese sentido el vicepresidente de investigación de Gartner, Olive Huang: «En algunos casos, las mejores inversiones en tecnología se han descarrilado por factores de los empleados, como la falta de capacitación o incentivos, la baja moral o el compromiso, y la mala comunicación de los objetivos».

The study was conducted in February and March this year and involved 209 respondents from a wide range of industries and company sizes across seven countries: the UK, US, Australia, Singapore, India, Canada and New Zealand. All were involved in customer experience, with seven out of ten in a leadership position, and one in five reporting directly to their company's CEO.

De todas esas encuestas, hay un a lección clave: no existe un único sistema por el cual garantizar una mejor Experiencia de Cliente, pero sí existe consenso en que sin empleados implicados, cualquier inversión tecnológica o de otro tipo está condenada al fracaso. «Los datos nos dicen que no hay una bala de plata CX», añade Huang. «Los líderes de CX se enfrentan a una amplia gama de opciones sobre las prioridades del proyecto y la combinación de proyectos de tecnología y habilidades necesarias para tener éxito».

Un ejemplo al respecto lo pone el vicepresidente de ventas y operaciones en Quadient (software especializado en Experiencia de Cliente), Tim Dimond-Brown, al hablar sobre la evolución en un sector tan sensible como la banca: «Para garantizar una excelente experiencia del cliente en una amplia gama de canales, desde el teléfono hasta la charla por Internet, los bancos deben asegurarse de que los empleados estén comprometidos y capacitados para hablar y comprender a los clientes. En un nivel básico, esto significa permitir que los empleados tengan acceso a toda la información que necesitan sobre un cliente, incluidas todas las conversaciones anteriores, en el momento en que hablan con ellos. Sin esto, el resultado será una experiencia frustrante para el cliente y el trabajador, y finalmente empleados menos comprometidos que brinden una experiencia menos satisfactoria».

Only on this basis can other priorities be addressed, such as investments in technologies, which continue to occupy a large part of the daily agenda of Customer Experience managers. And no wonder: business process management, Voice of Customer (VoC), user experience (UX) tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are just some of the names that are set to play a leading role in the immediate future of this discipline.

This could mean that it is easy to deviate from the priority (employees involved), because technology pushes us to pay attention to virtual customer assistants (VCA), chatbots and automated virtual assistants (AVA), and even the blockchain system (the well-known Blockchain), which is also present as an immediately applicable technology.

But all this technological acronym soup also has another reading: tools that offer actionable information and a unified experience in all systems make an employee's work not only more efficient, but also more pleasant. If we are able to understand that this has a direct impact on the customer, we will have gained two followers (employee and customer) for the price of an investment that we must make if we do not want to be left out.

If we go back to the question with which we started these lines, we said: who wins: employee, company or customer? It is a trick question. Let's put the equation in the right order: for there to be a company, there have to be customers, and once there are customers, we need employees to serve them; if we turn the formula around: for every employee involved, we will have dozens of satisfied customers... and therefore a winning company. It's a win-win. Everybody wins.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash