Why Emotional Intelligence is a Key Leadership Skill

Emotional Intelligence (EI), often referred to as EQ, has become a buzzword in the realms of both personal development and leadership. The article from Harvard Business Review provides a succinct overview of the 12 competencies of EI, emphasizing the importance of a balanced strength across these competencies for effective leadership. However, to truly appreciate the depth and breadth of EI, it’s essential to delve deeper into each of these competencies and understand their significance in various contexts.

1. Emotional Self-Awareness: This is the cornerstone of EI. It’s the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions. By being self-aware, individuals can navigate their reactions and make decisions that align with their values.

2. Emotional Self-Control: Beyond recognizing emotions, it’s crucial to manage and regulate them. This competency ensures that emotions don’t cloud judgment or lead to impulsive decisions.

3. Adaptability: The world is ever-changing, and adaptability is about embracing change, being flexible in one’s approach, and not being overly wedded to a particular course of action.

4. Achievement Orientation: This is the drive to improve and meet internal standards of excellence. It’s not about external rewards but an intrinsic motivation to do better.

5. Positive Outlook: Maintaining a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity, can lead to better problem-solving and resilience.

6. Empathy: It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In leadership, empathy can lead to better team cohesion and understanding customer needs.

7. Organizational Awareness: This is about understanding the dynamics within an organization, including the power relationships and unspoken norms.

8. Influence: Leaders need to persuade and influence others to achieve common goals. This competency is about effective persuasion techniques.

9. Coaching and Mentoring: Beyond achieving personal success, it’s about helping others grow and achieve their potential.

10. Conflict Management: Conflicts are inevitable, but managing them effectively can lead to better team dynamics and innovative solutions.

11. Teamwork: It’s about working collaboratively and leveraging the strengths of team members.

12. Inspirational Leadership: Inspiring and motivating others to achieve a shared vision.

The Broader Implications of EI

While the article touches upon the importance of these competencies, it’s essential to understand their broader implications. For instance, a leader with high emotional self-awareness will not only understand their emotions but will also be attuned to the emotional undercurrents within their team. This can lead to proactive interventions before minor issues escalate.

Similarly, adaptability is not just about personal flexibility but also about creating agile teams and organizations. In today’s volatile business environment, the ability to pivot and adapt can be a significant competitive advantage.

EI in the Modern Workplace

The modern workplace is characterized by diversity, remote working, and rapid technological changes. In such an environment, EI becomes even more critical. Virtual teams need leaders who can manage conflicts effectively without face-to-face interactions. Similarly, as organizations become more diverse, leaders need to be empathetic and understand the diverse needs and aspirations of their team members.


In conclusion, Emotional Intelligence is not just about being “nice” or “likable.” It’s a comprehensive set of skills that leaders need to navigate the complex challenges of the modern workplace. Whether it’s managing a diverse team, driving organizational change, or inspiring a shared vision, EI is at the core of effective leadership. As the article rightly points out, it’s essential to have a balanced strength across all EI competencies. Leaders should continuously assess and develop their EI competencies to remain effective and relevant in the ever-evolving business landscape.

Embracing Risk Management: A Necessity for Smaller Companies

In today’s volatile business landscape, risk management is no longer a luxury reserved for large corporations. In fact, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) might be at a greater risk. These businesses don’t face the same regulatory pressures that compel larger companies to measure and mitigate their risks. However, they also lack the buffer resources to withstand unexpected shocks. A single significant incident could push them to the brink of bankruptcy. This is precisely why SMEs can benefit immensely from three pivotal actions: designing controls that are proportionate to the risks involved, analyzing lessons from successes (not just failures), and leveraging risk management to enhance and safeguard business performance.

Regrettably, there’s a prevailing stereotype that risk management is mundane. Risk managers are often perceived as pessimistic clerks, while compliance officers are labeled as alarmists. Such misconceptions have rendered risk management an unappreciated and misunderstood discipline. For many, it remains a tedious and expensive task until disaster strikes.

However, this narrative needs a shift. Risk management is not just a tool to counter potential threats; it’s an instrument that can add immense value to a business. With proper risk management, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their business environment, anticipate market shifts, and make informed decisions. Moreover, it can help businesses build robust resilience, ensuring stability in the face of uncertainties and changes.

For SMEs, embracing risk management is crucial. Compared to their larger counterparts, they might not have the resources to tackle sudden market shifts or other external threats. Hence, they need to utilize their limited resources smartly, ensuring consistent stability and growth in their operations. This underscores why risk management isn’t just for the big players; SMEs need to take it seriously too.


In this age of unpredictability, risk management is not an option but a necessity. Regardless of a company’s size, it’s pivotal for its long-term stability and prosperity. It’s high time risk management transitioned from being an overlooked discipline to a core business tool.

Is Your Team Drowning in Collaboration Tools?

In today’s digital age, the workplace has transformed dramatically. The rise of collaboration tools promised a new era of efficiency and connectivity. Platforms like Slack, Teams, and Zoom have become household names, with professionals relying on them daily. However, as with all technological advancements, there’s a flip side. The very tools designed to enhance productivity have, in many instances, become sources of distraction and stress.

The Digital Deluge

Every day, the average worker is bombarded with a plethora of digital notifications. They check their email approximately 77 times, sifting through an average of 121 new emails. This doesn’t even account for the myriad of other notifications – from instant messages, shared document feedback, to task reminders. The constant digital pinging has led to a phenomenon known as “notification fatigue.” It’s not just about the volume; it’s the mental load of switching between platforms, contexts, and tasks. This constant digital juggling act can lead to decreased productivity, increased stress, and ultimately, burnout.

The Illusion of Productivity

On the surface, being constantly connected might seem like a boon. Immediate responses, real-time collaboration, and the ability to multitask across platforms give the illusion of productivity. However, research suggests that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Every time we switch tasks, our brain needs time to adjust. Over the course of a day, these seconds add up, leading to significant time loss. Furthermore, the constant barrage of notifications can fracture attention, making deep work nearly impossible.

The Collaboration Cleanse

Recognizing the challenges posed by an overreliance on collaboration tools, the authors introduced the concept of the “collaboration cleanse.” This approach encourages professionals to take a step back and evaluate their digital habits. Which tools are essential? Which notifications truly require immediate attention? By streamlining digital interactions and setting boundaries, professionals can regain control over their workday.

Strategies for Effective Collaboration

  1. Prioritize and Streamline: Not all notifications are created equal. Prioritize which ones require immediate attention and which can wait. Use features like “Do Not Disturb” during deep work sessions.
  2. Schedule Digital Breaks: Just as you would take a coffee break, schedule short digital breaks. Use this time to disconnect, stretch, or even meditate.
  3. Educate and Train: Organizations should offer training on effective use of collaboration tools. This includes etiquette, best practices, and features that can enhance productivity.
  4. Feedback Loops: Encourage open communication about digital tool usage. What’s working? What’s not? Regular feedback can help in refining digital strategies.


While collaboration tools offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to use them judiciously. The key lies in striking a balance. By being mindful of our digital habits and making conscious choices, we can harness the power of these tools without feeling overwhelmed.

Harnessing the Power of ChatGPT for Enhanced Decision-Making

Decision-making is at the core of every organization and individual’s daily life. A successful decision-making process encompasses three steps: framing the decision, generating alternatives, and choosing among them. Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT can assist at every stage of this process.

1. Framing the Decision

Before embarking on any decision-making process, it’s crucial to define the scope and objectives of the decision. This means clarifying what problem you aim to address and the outcomes you hope to achieve. At this juncture, ChatGPT can aid in refining your thought process, offering pertinent information and data, and highlighting essential considerations you might overlook.

2. Generating Alternatives

Once you’ve delineated the scope and objectives of the decision, the next step involves contemplating potential alternatives. This could encompass various strategies, methods, or solutions, each with its merits and demerits. ChatGPT can assist in listing potential alternatives, providing detailed information and analysis on each, and forecasting the probable outcomes of each alternative.

3. Choosing Among Alternatives

After considering all alternatives, the final step involves making a choice among them. This requires an in-depth analysis of each option, considering its long-term and short-term impacts, and its alignment with your goals and values. ChatGPT can furnish these analyses, guiding you towards an informed decision.

However, while ChatGPT can offer a plethora of assistance, it remains an algorithm-based tool and cannot supplant human experience, knowledge, and judgment. When utilizing ChatGPT for decision-making, the ultimate decision rests with you. You must integrate the information and recommendations provided by ChatGPT with your experience, knowledge, and assessment of the situation to arrive at the best decision.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a potent tool that can grant you enhanced insights and information during the decision-making process. Yet, it cannot replace human discernment and decision-making prowess. Employing ChatGPT judiciously, in tandem with personal experience and knowledge, can pave the way for superior decision-making.

Discussing Challenging Decisions When Full Transparency Isn’t Possible

When you have to communicate a difficult organizational decision to employees, it’s challenging to determine how much information to provide when you can’t be fully transparent. Saying nothing can undermine people’s trust in your motives and compassion while saying too much can leave them feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable as they grapple with the information and its implications. Striking the right balance between these extremes is a delicate task for leaders.

Imagine this scenario: You’re planning some organizational changes that will result in layoffs. Perhaps the market conditions are tough, or you’re integrating a company you’ve acquired. You haven’t ironed out all the details regarding numbers, timing, and terms, so it’s premature to share the complete picture — but rumors are already spreading.

Expanded Content:

  1. The Importance of Building Trust: Trust is the most valuable asset in any organization. When leaders face the necessity of making challenging decisions, maintaining and building this trust becomes paramount. Transparency is key to building trust, but in some instances, full transparency might not be feasible. In such cases, how leaders convey information and what they choose to convey can profoundly impact the trust employees place in them.
  2. Managing Rumors and Misconceptions: In environments where there’s an information asymmetry, rumors and misconceptions tend to spread like wildfire. To prevent this, leaders need to communicate what they know promptly and accurately, even if the information is incomplete. Additionally, leaders should establish a feedback mechanism allowing employees to voice concerns and questions, ensuring any misconceptions are addressed promptly.
  3. Establishing an Emotional Connection with Employees: During challenging times, employees need more than just information; they need to know their leaders care about them. By showing empathy and understanding, leaders can forge an emotional connection with their staff, helping alleviate anxieties and concerns.

In conclusion, how leaders convey information about challenging decisions when they can’t be fully transparent is crucial. By building trust, managing rumors, and establishing an emotional connection with employees, leaders can ensure their decisions are understood and supported by their teams.

The Evolution of AI in Modern Marketing Strategies

With technological advancements, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the marketing domain is growing exponentially. This surge is not solely due to the progress of technology itself but also because businesses and marketers are beginning to recognize the potential and value of AI.

The Role of AI in Marketing Strategy

The primary advantage of AI lies in its ability to process vast amounts of data and extract meaningful insights from it. In the realm of marketing, this means AI can assist businesses in understanding their target audience better, leading to the formulation of more precise and effective marketing strategies. For instance, by analyzing consumers’ online behaviors, AI can predict their potential interests in specific products or services, aiding businesses in targeted advertising.

The Rise of Personalized Marketing

As consumers increasingly demand personalized experiences, the application of AI in this area becomes ever more critical. Through AI, businesses can offer tailor-made content, recommendations, and promotions for each consumer, enhancing conversion rates and customer satisfaction. For example, e-commerce platforms can utilize AI to analyze consumers’ purchase history and browsing behaviors, recommending the most relevant products to them.

AI and Creative Marketing

While AI’s capabilities in data analysis and prediction are impressive, its potential in creative marketing is equally noteworthy. Utilizing generative AI, marketers can craft novel and unique advertising content that not only captures consumers’ attention but also resonates emotionally with them.

In conclusion, AI is rapidly reshaping the landscape of the marketing sector, presenting unprecedented opportunities for businesses. However, with these opportunities come new challenges, such as ensuring the ethical use of AI and safeguarding consumer privacy. Regardless, AI will undoubtedly continue to unleash its vast potential in the marketing domain.

Mastering the Art of Localization: An Effective Guide to International Expansion

Firms that have successfully captured the local market may ponder over global prospects and undertake the process of localization. Localization entails adapting their current offerings to accommodate different cultures and languages, which can include translating various materials such as the company’s website content, promotional materials, contracts, and more.

There are plenty of instances, often amusing, where such attempts at localization have gone haywire. For instance, when Wix, the website builder, ventured into the German market in 2015, they were quick to realize the inappropriate implication of the company’s name in German. More recently, a risqué Barbie movie poster in France was not quite compatible with the film’s PG-13 rating.

Companies can prevent such mishaps by transforming their missteps into learning experiences, as Wix did by humorously acknowledging their mistake on their website. However, it’s always best to prevent such slip-ups from occurring in the first place. Here are three strategies to simplify the localization process and avoid errors.

Take into account cultural subtleties When deciding on which overseas market to venture into, it’s crucial to rely on data and strategic decision-making, rather than allowing language barriers to dictate the choice, advises Hila Shitrit Nissim, chief marketing officer at Blend, a Tel Aviv-based translation and localization service provider. Companies then need to decide whether to utilize an in-house translator or hire an external service for translation.

Nissim points out that a common mistake companies make in this process is to solely depend on machine translations. She observes this frequently in food manuals and outdoor signs. Using Google Translate and then having the entire country mock your mistake is not an ideal scenario. Thus, the human element remains indispensable.

Also, a direct translation is not always the ideal approach, Nissim emphasizes, since the translated text must align with the cultural context and references. Significant differences exist even between countries that share a language (for example, ‘apartment’ in the U.S. versus ‘flat’ in the UK). Therefore, a native speaker should ideally “review, edit, and refine” the content, Nissim suggests.

Maintaining the brand’s voice throughout the process is equally crucial, asserts Brenda S. Stoltz, CEO of Burg Translations, a company based in Chicago. The translation process should be a collaborative effort between the company’s translator (or service provider) and the brand to ensure the brand’s style, intent, and tone are preserved.

Begin cautiously and invest judiciously It may be more beneficial to focus on expanding into one or two countries at a time, as this approach might lead to a more mindful transition compared to entering multiple markets simultaneously, Nissim suggests. This is particularly relevant if you’re a small business, considering the attention and resources required.

Similarly, when it comes to the task at hand, companies should commence with smaller translation projects, like Facebook and Google ads, to gauge potential new markets. Subsequently, they can transition to website content and other assignments to enhance the complete customer experience. “Map out your customer journey … and identify the modifications or adaptations needed to operate in the new market,” Nissim advises.

Budget constraints are an important consideration for smaller businesses, so leaders should strategically plan their investments. For instance, translating a simple manual may lean more heavily on machine translation, while a legal contract demands meticulous crafting, notes Georg Ell, CEO of Phrase, a localization firm based in the Czech Republic.

Moreover, companies need to identify the areas where their translations can make the biggest impact to ensure the resources and funds invested in localization yield a worthwhile return, Ell suggests. One such area could be keywords for search engine optimization.

“Translating the entire website, having a visually pleasing website, and having high-quality resources and materials isn’t enough; you also need to drive traffic to your site,” Nissim points out. It’s crucial to understand the keywords your competitors are using in the local market and to again consider cultural subtleties (for instance, where would people search for a “jumper” instead of a “sweater”?).

Companies need to establish their priorities, keeping their expansion objectives at the forefront, Stoltz advises. “Efficiency impacts cost, but effectiveness impacts revenue.”

Start the process sooner rather than later If localization is already on your radar, the time to start is now, Ell advises. He posits that as generative A.I. becomes more sophisticated and widespread, localized content will proliferate. Therefore, companies that are ahead in this game will enjoy the rewards, while the ones who are lagging will fall further behind. “This is not something you can accomplish overnight,” Ell warns. “So I would suggest: invest now.”

The Pitfalls of Overemphasizing KPIs in Business Strategy

Contributions from various entrepreneurs shape this article. Administrators often rely heavily on key performance indicators (KPIs), which are metrics that supposedly allow them to assess the status of different business operations. While KPIs can be beneficial as part of a strategy that emphasizes data analytics and data-driven decision-making, there’s a significant issue with overvaluing KPIs. Many companies today are falling into this trap.

The Ideal Approach to KPIs

KPIs can be advantageous and influential in directing an organization’s course when used correctly. They are objective, easy to understand, and measured with a specific purpose. These are dependable data points that can enhance decision-making. However, even in this ideal situation, it’s crucial for organizational leaders to use these metrics appropriately. A single metric should not drive your decision-making, and metrics alone should not guide your future company visions.

KPIs can be compared to different types of food in a balanced diet or various assets in your overall investment portfolio, each with its strengths and weaknesses. They are incredibly useful but only constitute a part of your strength in organizational decision-making.

The KPI Dilemma We’ve Created

Why have we strayed from this vision? There are several reasons worth considering. I believe it’s mostly about disproportionate evaluation. We’ve started to view KPIs as more potent and informative than they truly are. This doesn’t mean they’re not powerful or informative; it’s just that we’ve overestimated and misinterpreted them. Let’s examine some specific ways this happens.

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are a prime example of how KPIs can be misused and misunderstood. These are metrics that make you feel good about a specific result or strategy, without truly providing information on operational efficiency. For instance, follower count is a commonly tracked vanity metric in social media marketing. While it does hold some value and it’s certainly pleasing to see your follower count increase, it has little to do with more measurably impactful things like follower engagement, brand awareness, conversions, or revenue generated.

Ambiguous Meanings

Sometimes KPIs carry ambiguous meanings. For example, in the customer service and customer experience world, a commonly used KPI is the net promoter score (NPS). Hypothetically, NPS helps you estimate consumer sentiment, and you measure it by asking people how likely they are to recommend your business to others. But sometimes, these answers have little to do with consumer sentiment. It’s nice to know that some of your customers would hypothetically recommend your business to others, but why would they do this? What’s driving them? And how likely are they to follow through on this?

Misleading Data

You can use data to support just about any argument you want. For example, let’s say we’re using data to compare the effectiveness of different marketing strategies. There is one strategy that’s very challenging to pull off, but if you use it successfully, it’s incredibly powerful. If you want to make the argument that you should use this strategy, you can cherry-pick the best case studies and prove how powerful it can be. If you want to make the argument that you should not use this strategy, you can take a measurement of the average results and show that typically, this strategy isn’t worth using.

The Almighty Incremental Change

Embedded growth obligations (EGOs) drive countless companies forward, forcing them to grow, grow, and grow. And on a smaller scale, organizations are sometimes held back by a focus on incremental change, shackled by the KPIs that guide them.

Lack of Actionability

One final problem to note about KPIs is that they sometimes lack actionability, or a “so what” factor. It’s great that your organization is seeing higher CSAT, but what does that mean for the organization, how should it change your decision-making, and where do you go from here?

None of this is meant to suggest that you should stop tracking KPIs or using them as part of your approach to organizational decision-making. But we need to get real about our obsessiveness and misuse of these sometimes-trivial and sometimes misleading data points.

3 Ways Companies Get Customer Experience Wrong

by Lisa Nirell

Most businesses profess to have a “customer first” philosophy. And many have created their own customer experience (CX) function to fuel higher customer retention, brand reputation, and recurring revenues. But, many companies’ CX strategies have fallen out of sync with post-pandemic customer realities.

As a strategic marketing adviser and executive coach for the past three decades, I’ve seen in my day-to-day work and private CMO cohorts that many leaders are deploying the same digital CX strategies that they used in 2019, thereby risking customer defection and dissatisfaction at a time when they can least afford it.

Here are common CX missteps I’m seeing — and strategies to address them before your competitors seize the opportunity.

1) Prioritizing Cost Management at the Expense of Strategic Investment

During uncertain times, it’s tempting for companies to obsess over boosting the balance sheet. In fact, most of my coaching clients are striving to replicate Google’s ambition to become 20% more efficient. But this leaves companies vulnerable to competitors who also focus on boosting customer-facing value to improve the bottom line.

For example, one of my clients, a profitable publicly traded firm, recently experienced a six-month stock price dip. The CFO immediately froze all new marketing initiatives, and they required every executive team leader to find at least $1 million in expenses to cut.

For the CMO, this represented a missed opportunity to invest in identifying new customer segments, fortify their retention strategies, and experiment with new CX programs. The CMO brings a rich set of experiences from her previous roles — such as strategic account planning, customer advisory board programs, and brand-fortifying thought leadership strategies. Investing in just one of those areas would have paid for itself by sparking long-term growth at a time when their sizable competitors were cutting back. But her company’s singular focus on expense reduction made it difficult to pursue such growth opportunities. It felt like a short-sighted strategy that made the company penny-wise and pound-foolish. 

2) Relying on Old Segmentation Strategies

CX leaders have been trained to define addressable customer segments (such as psychographics and demographics) and to create sophisticated customer journey maps (which are used to define customers’ common challenges and buying patterns). Yet they’re generally ignoring one of the biggest changes since the pandemic: customers’ desire to understand a company’s stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion, climate change, and other social issues.

Creating a Compelling Customer Experience

It’s about building a genuine relationship.

KPMG’s 2022 CEO survey found that 69% of executives surveyed noted higher levels of stakeholder pressure to improve ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting transparency — an 11% increase in only a year. It’s unlikely that this is a fad. These topics have climbed to the top of customers’ priority lists. They reflect a person’s values. But you seldom find them on modern-day customer journey maps.

After reviewing several journey maps, I found that most only include superficial data, such as demographics, job functions, hobbies, and common pain points. Very few describe the values behind why buyers choose a certain software tool, snack brand, or vacation getaway.

3) Treating Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) as Separate Silos

You’ll hear some leaders say that the “customer is always right”. Yet that strict policy can also lead to costly attrition of top people, too many priorities, and team burnout.

Salesforce recently teamed up with Stanford and Columbia Universities on research that showed that only one in three companies had designed a seamless integration between their customer experience and employee experience initiatives. And when they’re not aligned, the research team suggests that companies may be missing out on as much as a 50% revenue bump.

Addressing These CX Challenges

To address these modern-day CX challenges, here’s what I recommend:

1) Craft CFO discussions around value creation, not just expense reduction.

Many CX leaders downplay their value, focusing on activities versus outcomes. One executive recently boasted about juggling ten different buyer personas — a nearly impossible feat with their lean CX team.

 When confronted with cost-cutting conversations, consider these reframing strategies:

  • Show how CX investments drive incremental revenue, grow share of voice, accelerate current revenue streams, or fuel higher lifetime customer value. Stop using terms such as “program delivery” and “support.” This positions your initiatives as transactional and nonessential.
  • Ensure that your CX metrics align with your organization’s strategic goals — especially those that the CFO reports to the street, such as revenue growth and operating margins. CFOs seldom care about vanity metrics, such as the number of followers. Nor should you.
  • Invite a Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) colleague to project planning and status meetings. They will feel more like collaborators versus adversaries — increasing the chances that your strategic CX investments will get serious consideration during the next planning cycle.

2) Integrate customer values research into traditional segmentation exercises.

According to ValueGraphics CEO David Allison, CX strategies built exclusively around demographics miss the mark. He and his team looked at 750,000 surveys in 152 languages about audience values, wants, needs, and expectations. They were astounded to find that “people in any demographic cohort are, on average, only 10% similar.” (Full interview here.)

Want to know what your ideal audience cares about? You can either conduct values research, schedule one-on-one conversations, or do both. If you’re facing a time or budget crunch, these questions will help you get started:

  • Why do you [go to work, attend concerts, buy new clothes, etc.]? Tailor the question to where your audience would experience your brand.
  • You just won the lottery. Why would you give away half of your winnings?
  • You’re writing a letter to your younger self from 10 years ago. What would you say, and why?

3) Align EX and CX goals and incentives.

In a 2019 HBR article, Andrew Chamberlain and Daniel Zhao cited myriad correlations between high employee engagement and higher American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores. Apple, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Johnson & Johnson still top the list of great places to work. Here’s something else they share: impressive ACSI scores.

Taking cues from these brand juggernauts, where can you improve EX and CX team collaborations? How can you align incentives across those teams?  Where can you streamline technology platforms for both groups? How can EX and CX metrics earn their rightful place alongside board-level operational and financial reporting?

In addition, ensure that your employees have a say in how you design customer-focused programs. In the Experience Advantage study, Salesforce reported that “employees who feel trusted and who feel they can take risks in their roles are 1.5 times more likely to consider themselves top CX supporters.” One of my global clients hosts a monthly employee recognition program for team members who best model the company’s values. In 2022, they celebrated 32% revenue growth and a twenty-point employee engagement score improvement.

The pandemic changed the world and customer expectations, and the most successful companies recognize that their customer experience needs to change in turn. By engaging cross-functional teams in CX discussions and understanding customer values, leaders can ensure that their brand remains relevant for years to come.

How Technology Can Improve the Customer Experience

Customers and markets have seen an immense degree of change during the past few years. Organizations have struggled to keep up with the changing demands and expectations of their consumers due to issues with the supply chain and changes in customer channel preferences.

Through the use of self-service and online auto purchasing, digital technology has been integrated into the customer experience, forcing all sorts of enterprises to engage their target customers in new ways (CX).

Technology, however, is only one aspect of the narrative.

The most effective digital experiences, in our view, begin with a compelling grasp of the client – who they are, what they want, what work they must perform, and even how they feel about themselves.

Regrettably, a lot of businesses approach technology first before returning to understanding customers. Automation is being prioritized over consumer empathy in their never-ending search for operational efficiency, which is a concern. There are no engaging digital experiences without compelling consumer comprehension.

Technology, however, is only one aspect of the narrative.

The most effective digital experiences, in our view, begin with a compelling grasp of the client – who they are, what they want, what work they must perform, and even how they feel about themselves.

Regrettably, a lot of businesses approach technology first before returning to understanding customers. Automation is being prioritized over consumer empathy in their never-ending search for operational efficiency, which is a concern. There are no engaging digital experiences without compelling consumer comprehension.

Companies work to exceed consumers’ expectations by streamlining their customer journeys, but these initiatives will fail if they are focused on short-term click-through and conversion rates rather than long-term happiness, loyalty, and retention.

How they can get there is as follows.

Start By Offering What Consumers Want

Most businesses struggle to understand what their consumers genuinely value in a great digital experience. This isn’t to say that most experiences are bad; rather, the commoditization of digital encounters has rendered most of them uninteresting.

According to a Gartner survey, just 14% of consumers experienced a digital connection with a brand that motivated them to make a different choice.

What is different is when businesses alter their strategy to concentrate on how they can help their consumers feel better about themselves rather than just improving how customers perceive their goods and services. Consumers want to know more about themselves. By doing this, they will have a better chance of achieving their aims or objectives.

Most businesses place more emphasis on “what customers think of us” than “what customers think of themselves,” which is a missed chance to improve. Organizations can utilize the following three strategies to encourage a positive change in their customers’ perceptions of themselves:

Understand that not every digital encounter is intended to be seamless. Depending on the purpose of the consumer, a better experience may cause some friction, allowing the customer to consider their decisions by offering a learning route. A series of brand encounters that help consumers better grasp how to achieve their goals is referred to as a learning path. A Gartner survey indicated that B2B and B2C consumers agreed that if they “realized anything new about their wants or their own aspirations” they were 1.73 times more inclined to buy more.

Consider value over quantity. Catalytic brand experiences are distinctive, and emotive, and have a direct effect on the lives of customers. Customers are thereby altered in some way and are then more likely to continue acting in the manner in which they wish to. As compared to traditional strategies like promoting brand uniqueness, familiarity, or authenticity, these encounters have a roughly twofold impact on brand commitment.

Consider options other than a digital purchase. The following is a summary of the services that you may expect from the company value their. According to Gartner research, consumers who experience this kind of value-enhancing response are far more likely to remain around and make more purchases.

The Brooks Shoe Finder is an example. In addition to asking customers to think carefully about important issues regarding their fitness objectives, the evaluation assists customers in actively reflecting on their running mechanics (e.g., location of their feet, the relative strain on knee joints). This quiz differs from others in that it focuses on the customer’s confidence in their capacity to reach their running objectives rather than just the product itself. As a result, it may assist them to make decisions that are different and/or better informed than they otherwise would have.

These are the words they used to describe how significant it was to them. Do not misunderstand us; we adore technology. But we love customer understanding even more, which is why it’s one of the essential ingredients of a compelling CX.

The Secret To Providing A Great Customer Experience

Organizations must focus on two key themes, or vital elements, for engaging customer experiences: 1) complete experience and customer knowledge and empathy.

Brands may prevent “manufactured insincerity” by making sure each ingredient is included in the broader recipe, which we discuss below.

Improve Understanding of the Client

Few, if any, businesses offer purely digital experiences; they still transport tangible goods, have in-person conversations, and offer physical experiences. This implies that rather than treating the digital journey as the be-all and end-all, you must comprehend where and how clients seek digital experiences throughout the customer journey.

Voice of the Customer (VoC), creating personas, creating customer journey maps, and encouraging more customer-centric choices are just a few examples of successful customer listening practices that may help you better understand and respond to your customers’ present and changing requirements.

Organizations may then concentrate on how they will provide that experience after this point. It’s a skill that must be developed over time in order to be effective, not just once.

The businesses that take the lead with their consumers in mind succeed: According to Gartner’s data, CX programs that surpass management expectations are twice as likely to have end-to-end customer journey mapping in place for more than three years and are 1.9 times more likely to have persona creation activities in place for over three years.

Given the macroeconomic climate at the moment, companies have the chance to reinvest in and develop their CX skills in a way that gives their consumers confidence they are making the correct decision to keep doing business with them.

Customer empathy is a crucial result of great customer understanding.

A key component of a customer engagement strategy, customer empathy strikes a balance between an organization’s objectives and a thorough comprehension of a customer’s position, interests, and intent. This is difficult, especially without the thorough grasp of the consumer we’ve been discussing.

L’Oreal provides a straightforward yet effective illustration of excellent consumer knowledge and empathy.

Oreal is aware of how crucially important skincare is to one’s health. Their Skin Genius mobile application uses an AI-powered evaluation of the customer’s specific skin care needs utilizing a privacy-protected image of your face to combine individualized help with a game-changing digital experience. By acting as an in-person beauty counsellor, it also forces clients to reevaluate their plans and consider their skin-improvement objectives.

Customers are likely to feel better overall if they have a better knowledge of their skincare regimen. Once again, this relates to improving the consumers’ feeling of self.

It’s not necessary for compelling consumer experiences to include extravagant digital capabilities. Little things that are based in human knowledge can have equal power.

Use a holistic strategy and all of your experience

Customers frequently ask us what technology they should purchase or how they should organize their activities to provide better customer experiences. However the question is not fully answered there.

The epidemic has shown us how important it is for staff to provide excellent customer service. Their experiences are important, and this is reflected in employee experience, or EX. Yet, in the majority of firms, the departments in charge of CX, EX, user experience (UX), and the related technological platforms operate independently.

The better issue to ask is how to arrange such that consumers and staff have a more comprehensive and appealing digital experience.

Enter the concept of whole experience, or the purposeful fusion of CX, EX, and UX to provide better shared experiences for all stakeholders.

A B2C company that has embraced complete experience is the Lego Group. It came to the realization that because of fragmented design methods, digital solutions frequently fall short of meeting the demands of consumers and workers.

The LEGO Group originally developed a self-service online catalogue for store customers when the Covid-19 outbreak caused the business to introduce new goods remotely. Unfortunately, because the solution’s design did not take into consideration all end users’ specific and intersecting demands, it did not effectively deliver the high-quality purchasing experience that consumers and sales representatives previously enjoyed in-person. The LEGO Group developed a virtual showroom system that offers a better product viewing experience in order to address this difficulty.

Lego’s employees were able to provide better customer service and enhance the overall purchasing experience by designing and implementing technology solutions that prioritize the needs of customers and employees before those of technology. This resulted in more seamless interactions between customers and employees as well as an improved overall product viewing experience.

Lego succeeded in avoiding the pitfall of engineering insincerity by relying on the essential elements of customer comprehension and TX.