The employee experience is a customer experience like any other…or should be…

When it comes to employee experience, I am often asked “why” and “what directions to explore”. To answer these questions and make the subject obvious (well, I hope), I like to start from a parallel with what we all experience in our lives outside the office.

Information is accessible

We’ll start from the most obvious thing but those who knew the world before the internet or even before the famous web 2.0 which favoured a real abundance of information (then disinformation but that’s another subject…) will understand. Today, no matter what you are looking for, the right piece of information is available somewhere and at any time. And I will add on any terminal: computer, tablet, mobile and tomorrow via personal assistants. And of course you can access it regardless of where you are.

A world of hyperpersonalization

The use of collected user data allows brands and media to customize the experience offered to their users. Said in less pompous terms because talking about experience is sometimes exaggerated or even out of place, it allows them to suggest content that you will be more likely to read, products that you will be more likely to buy. And, as you’ve noticed, the same goes for advertising.

A world of mutual help and collaboration

From the moment the user became a content producer and the web put people in networks, the internet has become a huge field of collaboration. Collaboration that can take different forms: a discussion in a forum, more structured things with tools such as Office 365 or Google Suite, a message in a bottle on Facebook or Twitter.

We don’t even realize it any more, but asking our network for an answer to a question, an opinion, an advice, to find an apartment, to sell a second hand object has become a natural reflex.

So of course we didn’t wait for the internet and these practices are as old as the world. But what has changed and made it so popular is the scale and speed at which things happen, making it much simpler and more efficient.

And we can’t deal with this point without talking about Youtube, which has become a veritable mine of tutorials of all kinds.

We rate and have an opinion on everything

It is a form of collaboration but in my opinion it is a specific case of use. Restaurants, hotels, shops, products… people give notes to everything and give opinions on everything. Sometimes on the site of the shop in question, sometimes on “neutral” platforms like TripAdvisor or Google.

Even if, as is the rule in networks, few share and many read, this culture of giving feedback or using it to make a decision is now well entrenched.

Networks that adapt to the context

Speaking of networks in the broadest sense, i.e. including those who are close to you as very weak links, roles change according to needs. One day you are a requester, one day you are a giver, one day you contribute, one day you receive.

No hierarchy, but a structure that arranges and rearranges itself according to the need, the requester and each other’s ability to meet it.

Everything becomes a game

Gaming has emerged as a key lever to drive product and service adoption and increased use.

Practicing sports, learning…the more the field makes one likely to drop out, to give up, the more successful these mechanisms, which most often result in individual challenges or between friends, are popular.

In short, the more laborious or tedious something can be, the more likely it is to be turned into a game, and most often successfully.

We all talk to robots

Whether it is oral or written, we interact with robots all day long. Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. From personal assistants to chatbots, these devices have multiplied in recent years and people are using them. Surprisingly it seems that many people are not aware that they are dealing with a robot when they use one, despite the fact that the quality of their responses varies greatly.

But it doesn’t matter, what matters is that the logic of the personal assistant to whom we ask things in natural language and who acts or provides an answer is gradually becoming common practice.

A need = a service

“There’s an app for that.” Maybe you remember the slogan that accompanied the launch of the iPhone app store. What’s interesting is the logic behind the app concept.

No more Rube Goldberg machine that do everything and do it wrong. The principle of an app is to do only one thing but to do it well and in a simple way.

Hence the fact that they have taken a central place in our habits today. To every need (or almost) corresponds a service and therefore an app to address it as simply as possible.

It’s all about design

If I had to start from scratch today, I would be a designer, as this profession is so necessary and brings value today. Often badly translated into French, design is not what something looks like but how it works.

Today it’s a profession that is on the roll and is at the heart of all the uses I’ve just described and the success of the applications and services that make them possible. In the past, a service was built around a process and the user had to adapt. Today we build the service around the user and his need and it is the process that adapts.

Digital is a way of life

All the topics I mention involve technology in some way. So be it. But as I explained some time ago, technology is no longer the objective, it has faded behind its uses.

Today, in our private lives, we no longer use a device or an app. We do things, we adopt behaviors that pass through technology, but the “driver” is above all behavioral. The tool fades away and becomes secondary.

I don’t think I’ve taught you anything through the above because that’s the way most of us live our daily lives. But it’s become so obvious that we don’t even think about it anymore and that’s what it’s all about.

Indeed, what does the Internet user/consumer/customer (i.e. almost everyone) find when he or she walks through the company’s door? Enjoy making the comparison and you will understand why:

And, by the way, it also gives you an idea of the directions to explore by asking yourself what all this means in terms of use cases and work situations within the workplace. Afterwards, depending on the case, it may or may not make sense to you, but asking yourself the question is a good start.

Photo : expérience digitale by SFIO CRACHO via Shutterstock

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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