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Celebrating the customer frontlines for CX Day 2023

October 3 marks CX Day, an annual celebration by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) of customer experience (CX) and the people that work day-in, day-out to create positive relationships between people and their customers.

The theme for 2023 is ‘Good CX delivers better outcomes for customers, employees, and their organizations’, recognizing not just the impact CX has on the bottom line, but also on employee experience metrics like engagement and intent to stay.

And while we’ll always celebrate the CX professionals pulling the strings behind the scenes and designing the strategies and implementing the programs that ensure their companies deliver great CX, today we’re all about the frontlines.

That’s your contact center agents, retail employees, restaurant workers, and digital teams interacting with your customers every single day.

Because that’s where a great CX strategy comes to life — the human connection between your people and your customers.

In our 2023 CX Trends research we found that human connection was so important that when people call in to a contact center, they’re willing to accept longer wait times if it means they get through to an empathetic human at the end of it.

In fact, agent empathy had 2X the impact on CSAT as wait time!

You can have the most robust CX strategy in the world, but if your frontline teams aren’t equipped to deliver on it, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

So this CX Day, raise a glass to the contact center agents putting smiles on callers’ faces, the digital teams stepping in to help customers complete their journeys, and the retail, restaurant and other frontline workers putting a human face to your organization and building emotional connections with your customers.

World-class CX starts with your people

As you look ahead to 2024, and how you can build stronger connections with your customers, start with your people.

A highly engaged workforce delivers a better customer experience. It’s as simple as that.

In fact, research from PWC shows that 70% of engaged employees say they have a good understanding of customer needs. Only 17% of disengaged employees can say the same.

Impact of employee engagement

So ensuring your EX program is firing on all cylinders is a key foundation for every CX professional — look for ways to partner with your HR team as you go into 2024 to give your people the best chance of delivering for customers.

Engagement however is just the start — you can go A LOT further to link your EX and CX programs.

The technology available to CX leaders today enables you to bring EX data into your programs in the same way you would any other key driver of your CX metrics.

It goes further than linking a broad metric like ‘engagement’ to customer outcomes, but drills down into the specific drivers of EX that have the biggest impact on customers.

What’s more, you can even break it down by location or team, so you can see exactly what to focus on for specific groups of employees to have the biggest impact on the customer experience.

Get the guide: Combining EX + CX in Your Organization

Earlier this year at X4 we heard from adidas, and how bringing their EX and CX data together led them to uncover new levers to pull to improve CX outcomes,

They uncovered 3 key drivers of the employee experience for its frontline teams that had an outsized impact on customer spend and loyalty:

  • Improved employee training
  • Clear expectations
  • Frequent manager feedback

While these being essential to the employee experience is nothing new, particularly to seasoned HR leaders, what’s essential is the size of their impact.

Improved employee training for example had a 2X impact on customer outcomes compared to financial incentives for employees.

The adidas team therefore was able to pinpoint these three areas to double down and partner with HR leaders and store managers to really dial in what actions would have the biggest impact on their customers.

They’re not alone either.

At Virgin Australia, the CX team saw the link between enabling their cabin crew with deeper insights into their customers and how customers rated their experience.

When they saw that more than 50% of positive customer feedback mentioned the cabin crew on the flight, they invested in their people.

We’re able to take action on what truly matters to our customers. It’s also helping empower our cabin crew to deliver a differentiated and memorable inflight experience.

Nick Hill, Manager - Customer Insights, Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia armed 500 cabin managers with personalized dashboards, giving them instant access to all the insights they needed for each passenger on the plane, enabling them to deliver more perosnalized experiences, and to resolve issues in the moment.

Read Virgin Australia’s story

See CrossXM in action

Enable the frontlines and watch connections grow

As well as knowing where to focus on your people to help them deliver world-class customer experiences, you also need to empower and enable them.

In the decade since the CXPA launched CX Day, the way many organizations view CX has changed from a one-off activity (usually amounting to an annul customer survey) to an always-on program that spans multiple teams – and in the most mature organizations, EVERY team.

That’s what our focus is at Qualtrics as we innovate to help organizations grow their CX programs make them a sustainable part of their operating rhythm.

Because that will be the next frontier in CX and Experience Management in general.

And with more than 1 in 3 frontline employees saying they’re not set up to help customers effectively, it’s where there’s clear white space to differentiate on experience.

Here are just a few ways you can enable your frontlines to delight your customers:

    • Journey optimization — view sentiment and behavioral data across the customer journey, know where the journey breaks, and provide real-time alerts to your digital frontlines to step in. Learn more
    • Digital Experience Analytics — don’t wait for a nagative customer review to step in. Give your digital teams behavioral analytics and session replays for every customer so they can keep people on track on your websites and apps. Learn more
    • Personalized coaching – using machine learning and natural language processing, automatically transcribe and score every interaction, and build personalized coaching plans for every customer care agent. Learn more
    • Real-time recommendations — whether it’s contact center agents or employees in your stores, providing your people with prompts and recommendations while an interaction is happening can help prevent issues escalating, and deliver the right experience for each customer, every time. Learn more

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