Has Qualtrics Quantified the Connection Between Customer and Employee Experience?
Employee experience or customer experience: Which of these has the greatest impact for companies, and do they exert any influence over one another?
The answer to these questions may be found in the recent release of CrossXM, a new product line by Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics.
According to the company, CrossXM gives organizations automated insights into how employee, customer and brand experiences impact one another, helping identify the right actions to take to improve business results.
Employee Experience = Customer Experience
Business 101 tells us poor customer experience drives customers away. What is less clear is how different facets of the employee experience (EX) affect the customer experience (CX), and to what degree.
In a statement about the release of CrossXM, Qualtrics said its new product line promises to offer insights into how employee experience metrics — such as manager support, recognition and career development opportunities — impact customer outcomes.
And in an email interview with Reworked, Qualtrics President of Products and Engineering Brad Anderson said that with CrossXM, organizations will be able to make connecting unique experience data a standard, repeatable practice, giving business leaders automated, statistically significant insights to accelerate the impact of their experience initiatives.
In sum, CrossXM is expected to enable business leaders to do a linkage analysis between their employee and customer experience data. According to Anderson, CrossXM taps into a wide array of metrics that include, on the EX front, intent to stay with the organization, wellbeing, manager trust and compensation, while CX metrics include net promoter scores (NPS), customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) and speed of service.
With these data points, organizations will be able to not only identify the employee-centric actions — from better training to wellness programs — that have the greatest impact on their customer experiences, but also measure progress over time.
“We’ve designed CrossXM in a way where organizations can more easily do this analysis on their own or also have the option of partnering with our in-house advisory practice for additional guidance and support,” Anderson said.
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How CrossXM Works
Employees are instrumental to the customer experience, especially in retail and service industries, but it can still be challenging, if at all possible, to pinpoint their exact correlation. And despite the growing technology, most organizations continue to rely on broad analyses of the data they have, which can hide valuable insights from different segments of the business.
With CrossXM, organizations now have the ability to correlate experience data with a common unit of analysis. For instance, Anderson said a company can connect retail store employee engagement with customer outcomes from each store, or how the engagement level of customer support agents on a particular team or in a particular location affects the post-call feedback and outcomes from those specific agents.
Having the ability to use their own unique experience data, segmented however it makes the most sense to the business, means organizations can drive targeted actions that are customized to their specific workforce and customers, taking into account unique circumstances.
A great case study for the product, recounted by Anderson, is that of a major sports apparel company using CrossXM to determine how employee experience is affecting their best-performing retail stores. With the data, the company was able to find that offering employees the right combination of compensation, training and support from managers returned a greater likelihood of customers recommending its products.
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More precisely, the company saw in the data that when employees were well trained, they had more interactions with customers — and the NPS score for that store location increased.
And with CrossXM, like with the EmployeeXM product line, Qualtrics has prioritized how data is organized and safeguarded. “By offering a unified platform to correlate employee, customer and brand data, we ensure that all of the analysis can be done within Qualtrics, without needing to import or export sensitive data and opening the door to vulnerabilities due to human error or unnecessary security risks,” he said.
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CrossXM and the Business Climate
With a looming recession, organizations are taking a cost-containment approach to business, and leaders need to make smart decisions about what initiatives to invest in to drive their business forward and be ready for the recovery.
“Being able to predict which employee experience investments will have the biggest payoff for brand and customer outcomes, we believe, is a game-changer,” Anderson said.
But Qualtrics is also looking to help businesses open the aperture to what an EX, CX or BX interaction is. Take a simple hotel check-in situation as an example. Anderson said most businesses would consider that to be a CX interaction; one that takes place between the front desk, hotel porter, concierge and valet employees.
Yet, each of those employees has a different engagement profile that can help or harm the customer experience — not to mention the fact that the customer may also interact with digital assets like a mobile app or website in the process. The customer will have brand expectations for the quality of the property and the level of service, among many other things.
Anderson said there are dozens of experience touchpoints in this one simple moment, and CrossXM empowers organizations to look into how each aspect is impacted by the others, and as a whole. How equipped and empowered employees are to do their job and how they feel about their manager and their team will have a significant impact on the customer experience and the bottom line; yet, he said, most organizations treat it as an isolated CX problem.
“There is a huge opportunity to approach this in a comprehensive way and unlock the impact of all experiences to improve business outcomes,” he said.