The Gist

  • Come together. The 2023 CONNECT conference brought together a diverse group of attendees focusing on both employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX).
  • CX and EX connected. Employees embodying core organizational values as a foundation for strong CX is key to success.
  • Staying consistent. Omnichannel customer experience requires communication alignment across multiple and differing platforms.
  • Getting smarter. AI is set to have transformative impact on both HR and CX.

The 2023 CONNECT conference has brought together attendees from a wide variety of backgrounds. With sessions focused on both employee experience and customer experience topics.One theme that seems to run through both of these topics is the narrowing gap between CX and EX. Speakers and attendees alike have stressed the importance of good EX for good CX and vice versa.

The Role of Core Organizational Values in CX

Stephanie Crain, owner, coach and consultant at Tapas Innovation, stressed the importance of employees showing core organizational values and how that carries over to customers, as well.“Without that clarity and conviction of what your core purpose is as an organization, you’re already confusing your customer from the very beginning. Everything that follows that is going to lose its potency,” she said.

With a workforce that shows these values consistently across the culture and across their interactions with customers, the organization will develop a strong foundation, she added. When the organization expands its brand or looks for new solutions, they can use this foundation as a guiding star. “If your values are in alignment, you can use them as the grounding point for how you make risk-based decisions [and] how you make investment-based decisions, because at the end of the day, you can bring it back to the value,” she said.

This strategy helps organizations make smart customer experience decisions because the right technology decision will come back to the value system. “People are going to be able to align with that, and it’s going to build trust,” Crain said. Additionally, she shared, building this trust is vital in an environment where many customers have data privacy concerns.

The Importance of Omnichannel Customer Interaction

Interviewing attendees another theme emerged, the importance of omnichannel CX. Customers interact with a brand differently, said Randy Lummus, vice president, global corporate applications at InterContinental Hotels Group. Some people look for more details and more content when they go to a brand’s social channel or site, and some people are just looking for a quick, easy answer. And there are multiple places they can look for these types of information.

"If [customers] come to us, do we talk to them, or do we give them the information they need in different ways?" Lummus said. He also stressed the importance of looking at the areas where there is a high volume of customer calls and figuring out how to stop these problems from happening. “How do we address why they’re calling us? That’s the real goal,” he said.

Related Article: 10 Steps to Business Growth Using Omnichannel Marketing

Learning Opportunities

Aligning Communication Across Channels

Hakeem Basheerud-Deen, director at the Office of Human Capital Services at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), similarly said that communicating in different ways across different channels is a key DCX challenge. “We have multiple social media sites, multiple web presences [and] multiple platforms where we’re promoting different aspects of the organization,” he said. “Aligning our DCX is very important to me.”

As someone who’s interested in a forward-thinking DCX strategy that clearly addresses growing trends and challenges, Basheerud-Deen is especially interested in the potential of AI to impact HR and CX. His team specifically looks for events that go beyond the topics of the average HR conference, and Basheerud-Deen said since HR connects to so many parts of an organization, he wanted to learn more about AI and future-centric HR topics — for example, predictive analytics.

"I’m really excited about the opportunities that AI can bring to an HR environment," he said.

Harnessing AI for Future Growth

The 2023 CONNECT Conference has brought to the forefront some of the most pressing themes in customer and employee experience today. The integration of core organizational values across all operations, the necessity for omnichannel communication, and the transformative power of AI in HR and CX, all underscore the rapidly evolving landscape of business operations.

As we move forward, it is clear that these factors will continue to shape the future of enterprise. By leveraging these insights and staying at the forefront of these trends, businesses can navigate the changing tides, enhance their operations, and continue to deliver superior experiences. As Basheerud-Deen aptly encapsulates, the future is indeed exciting.