Experience Management – Meeting the Needs of All Enterprise Stakeholders
Research carried out in March 2020 shows that three quarters of large UK firms are successfully capturing customer experience data1. If companies are going to be able to attract and retain employees and build strong supplier relationships, the focus must now shift to more effective collection and analysis of data that captures employee and supplier experience. Michael Reiserer, MD EASY Software Germany, sets out the key research findings and looks at what companies need to do to improve experience management for all stakeholders.
UK businesses are increasingly recognising that it is at least as important to give employees and suppliers a good experience as it is to make it easy for customers to deal with the organisation. A 360° view of experience management, the process of monitoring every interaction people experience with a company or organisation, is vital to spot opportunities for improvement and to drive retention. When employees and supply chain partners can achieve what they need to confidently, efficiently and conveniently – aided by access to all of the information they need on demand – they will have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience which will boost their loyalty to the company.
A recent Experience Management study shows that the majority of medium to large UK firms are doing well in terms of capturing experience data, including employee and other key partner and employee stakeholder sentiment1. Three quarters (76%) of UK firms collect customer experience data of some kind, while 60% collect employee satisfaction data. For suppliers and business partners in the supply chain, experience management drops to 40% of surveyed organisations, although a further 40% have plans to do so.
Using experience data to improve IT processes
While these statistics are encouraging, most UK firms could do so much more to enhance experience management. Typically, monitoring, managing and improving experiences for employees and suppliers or business partners is not as mature a discipline as customer relationship management. Although HR departments will review employee satisfaction as part of annual appraisals, and procurement teams will have an idea about whether suppliers are being paid on time or have sufficient insight into future demand, much of this feedback is ad hoc. It isn't necessarily being fed back into plans for improving processes, or IT systems, which could better support employees or suppliers as they try to complete tasks or find answers to queries.
In the best-case scenarios, employees and suppliers should be able to serve themselves with information, and complete routine tasks, without the need to wait for help from an intermediary. That action might be to book time off or look up old payslips, in the case of an employee engaging with the HR department. This could even be via a mobile device from home. In the case of a supplier, it might be checking the status of an invoice or payment, or being able to verify order details, via a secure portal.
Intuitive self-services empower individuals to fulfil tasks at their own convenience so that they can move on with other things they need to do. They also reduce the need for departmental administrators to become involved in manually looking up information in response to incoming queries. This in turn eases the demand on internal resources, increasing operational productivity and cost efficiency, with a positive impact on business performance.
Yet, to be able to deliver improvements, companies must first know where their weak points are. They must be able to identify where current experiences are not hitting the mark – whether for customers and, in the fuller 360° scenario, for employees and for suppliers/partners.
The primary reason given for tracking experience data is to improve relationships – in particular by driving better interactions. Half (51%) of managers agree that this is the goal and a further third (33%) agree strongly. A similar proportion (51%) agree (and a further 31% strongly agree) that experience insights could help them optimise their operations.
Perceived challenges to these endeavours include the cost and time investment involved to collect and analyse experience data (seen as a barrier for nearly 60% of respondents); the privacy/regulatory implications of capturing this data (seen to be an even greater issue – 45% agree, and a further 26% agree strongly). These issues are followed by practical issues including inadequate IT capabilities, poor data quality/confidence, and the lack of skills and processes for collecting and analysing the data.
Responding to multiple stakeholders
360° experience management helps companies to understand where to focus improvements by providing an honest insight into perceptions of the company and its operations. Enterprises must act now to build the capacity to monitor and respond to all stakeholder needs, whether staff, customers, suppliers or business partners. Effective 360° experience management will be central to driving business success.
The author is Michael C. Reiserer and is MD of EASY Software Germany. He founds and participates in innovative software start-ups, such as Apinauten GmbH
1 About the research study
EASY Software commissioned an online Experience Management study to gauge the extent to which UK businesses are prioritising and measuring people's experience of their operations, across different stakeholder groups. The research was conducted independently by Censuswide in March 2020. Respondents were in middle or senior management roles at over 500 companies with 100 or more employees, spanning the Technology, Telecommunications, Finance, Manufacturing and Retail sectors.
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