NEW Voice of the Customer research, text analytics and examinations of customer journeys, are evolving to now looking more deeply at what people are really saying. Great news.

How often do we feel genuinely connected with, nourished by and understood when interacting with a brand’s customer experience?

With the move away from data-heavy numerical assessments of customer/employee experience performance towards more verbatim-based theme analytics we’re seeing the whole notion of ‘Putting People First’, albeit in a high-tech world, being seen as pivotal to achieving optimal business performance.

Our employee engagement (how often do we hear this word these days?) efforts seem to also need some fresh approaches. The Engage for Success group quote ORC in suggesting:

  • UK lies 18th out of 20 developed countries  (only ahead of Japan & Hong Kong) in employee engagement
  • UK employee engagement decreased in every category 2013-2014
  • Only 37% of UK workers felt encouraged to be innovative
  • Wellbeing Index – UK scored 57% (behind Australia, US, India & China)
  • Only 49% or people say they felt valued at work

Add to this the many studies that correlate people engagement with business performance, it’s no wonder we’re seeing some breaks from the traditional business scientific practice of the early 2000’s as organisations look to achieve success.

A great quote sums up the much needed direction customer and employee engagement efforts are now taking. The situation? – a housing association had spent years developing the productivity of their repairs and maintenance team with some great workflow science – but customer experience measures were still below par.

6 immersive theatre experiences were created for a range of customer ‘personas’ – all drawn up with the help of a playwright, who visited tenants of a housing association and then spent 2 days in workshops with 6 actors to develop living, interactive case material.

One of the ‘customer personas’ – Paul, after helping people really experience his perceptions of the repairs and maintenance service they were providing – summarised his feelings in front of 400 people at the end of the conference with the quote:

“The message I want you to take away is…that I am not ‘a broken boiler’. I’m Paul, who has a broken boiler.”

400 people laughed out loud. In recognition. Message received, understood – and most important of all – embraced.