XLAs are here to stay, and coming with them are many more job titles centred around experience. Our own experience, as well as the thoughts of people we have spoken to with ties to this industry, all show us this is happening. Heads of customer experience are already well-established titles, but what is great to see are titles that expand out to other groups, or focus on these groups exclusively. 'Head of People Experience', 'Chief Experience Officer', 'Digital Experience Manager' and 'Employee Engagement and Experience Manager' are all emerging titles that we've seen as this market matures.
As a prospect, this can only be good news for the experience of employees as these titles gain traction. However, it's more likely you'll see the well-established role in customer experience before encountering the roles above. This, of course, isn't a bad thing by any means, but we do need to ensure we're not forgetting the other important areas where the experience of all people interacting with our organisation take place. In the past, we've spoken of the importance of balance between customer and employee experience. Here, we'll take some of the emerging roles in experience and explain why they can be so beneficial for all involved in our organisation.
Digital Experience Manager
A role similar to that of a web designer, a digital experience manager is the individual responsible for the organisation's online presence, ensuring that web content is accessible and relevant, not just for the business but for the visitor. The experience part arises from their indirect but important interaction with the online visitors. We live in times where a prospective customer or general visitor to your website needs to access and understand information is a very small amount of time. If a prospective customer finds it difficult to gain the information they want, they will likely leave your site, and thereby take their time and custom somewhere else. It is therefore essential in modern times to encourage customers to stay on your site for longer through the use of relevant links that are labelled clearly for customers. A digital experience manager may also use an analytics tool in order to understand why customers leave the website on a particularly page and put themselves in their shoes to understand what they would most realistically want on that page to continue their visit.
Digital Employee Experience (DeX) Manager
The above Digital Experience Manager should not be confused with Digital Employee Experience Manager. This is a very different role; DeX roles are aligned to the digital workplace experience. There are many of these roles coming online - specifically sitting under the XMO (Experience Management Office). The DeX Manager looks at tools like Nexthink to see how well technology is being consumed and how productivity can be improved by removing bottlenecks and issues. This role is very proactive and answers questions such as:
What issues are employees facing when using their devices or applications or web-services?
Where are they having poor experiences?
What needs to be done to fix these to ensure improved productivity?
The Service Desk can only fix issues that they know about, and unfortunately more that 50% of issues go unreported, so a DeX roles focus is to search for these unreported issues and fix them before they become productivity and experience issues that cause downtime and unhappiness.
Employee Engagement and Experience Manager
Just as we noticed the importance of how visitors interact with our organisation online, so too have we noticed the importance of how engaged our employees are with their role and the company they work for. An engagement and experience manager, as the name suggests is focused on developing the means to improve and maintain employee engagement. These may include wellness or activity programs to employee recognition strategies. The key here to understand what kind of approach works for each employee, making communication and analytical skills particularly important for the role. When employee engagement and healthy experience is the primary aim and not an additional task to an existing job, it provides the time and focus that is needed to to apply the principle that people's experience are always their own. No one experience can be applied across the entire team, and it will be the role of the engagement and experience manager to devise the strategies that work for different people.
Not only do employees gain from this role by having their thoughts and feelings heard regarding their engagement with their role, but employers also benefit due to the indirect effect this role has on employee retention. By showing you care about the engagement of your employees with their work means they'll be less likely to look for more fulfilling opportunities elsewhere. We live in times where money is no longer the primary motivator for job seeking. People want to find a sense of purpose and engagement in their work. By ensuring this, employers can lower risk of high staff turnover and regular hiring costs without the growth.
What is the Takeaway?
As we said in our intro, the emergence of roles with a focus on experience can only be a good thing. It displays we're moving beyond the services economy and into the experience economy that authors and key figures have been arguing we've been moving into for years. It may not be concrete proof, but is an indication that we're opening our eyes to how the experience and time spent by our customers and employees in their interactions with our businesses affects us all. In our examples above we focused mainly on IT and office roles, but this emergence of experience-centred roles can be adopted far and wide across all industries that serve people in some way. In a recent Ted talk, Will Guidara speaks of their efforts as owner of a number 1 restaurant in New York city, citing how the efforts of them and their team to create unique experiences for customers, guided by an individual in the role of 'Dreamweaver', equalled both happier customers and happier employees. Guidara believed that enabling the staff to bring together ideas made them feel more empowered, providing the solid impression that they held an active part in the company they worked for.
This active participation is something we've highlighted previously as a benefit of improved employee experience, and is something that, as both Guidara and Bright Horse believe, can be adopted across many organisations, especially those that serve people. The example roles above show the ways in which we have become more aware of experience, from organisations recognising that how we interact with their digital offerings affects how we view and interact with them, to roles that work to ensure employees are engaged with their role. If they lead to happier customers and employees, it will encourage us to continue looking at the experiences we obtain through our interactions with a business and work on fine tuning them into something that benefits us and the business in the long run. That is why we need more experience roles in the following year and years to come.
If understanding your employee's experience is proving a challenge, you're in the right place. Bright Horse have been at the forefront of the employee experience movement and can assist in your measuring and management of your employee's experience. If you would like to know more about how we can help, you can see the courses we provide, or learn more about our experience consulting offerings.
TED, (2022). The Secret Ingredients of Great Hospitality | Will Guidara | TED [online]. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwcyXcOpWVs Accessed: 6 January 2023.