The Power of Experiences in our Competitive World
Updated: Feb 14
Companies around the world realize that even in a technology-driven world, it’s the experiences that matter most.
Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University researched the topic and found that having experiences makes us happier than material possessions. In fact, when we buy a physical object, we are happy at first but our satisfaction over time goes down, while when we invest in an experience, then over time our satisfaction goes up.
"People often think spending money on an experience is not as wise an investment as spending it on a material possession. They think the experience will come and go in a flash, and they'll be left with little compared to owning an item. But in reality we remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. At the same time, we also enjoy the anticipation of having an experience more than the anticipation of owning a possession." Prof. Thomas Gilovich
For several decades companies have been investing in customer experience, which as defined by Blake Morgan - Customer Experience Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author is the perception that the customer has of your brand.
"Customer perception is one of the most valuable aspects of a company. Managing that perception in all its forms should be a top priority and is the responsibility of every single person in the organization." Blake Morgan
Key findings from Gartner, state that “Customer Experience (CX) is the new marketing battlefront.” For good reason: superior CX delivers improved customer loyalty, market share, and revenues. However, instead of focusing on the overall customer experience, the main competitive differentiator will come from focusing on key touchpoints of the buyer journey and customer experience.
Thus, to stay relevant in our VUCA world, companies are working on removing friction and building the optimal experience for their audiences across multiple touchpoints. Staying agile is a key success element in this process, as what worked well a decade or even a year ago could be completely ineffective now thanks to changing trends and technology.
Therefore, experiences that enable employees to nurture, collaborate and innovate are a recipe for a thriving enterprise in the digital era. And of course, employee experience plays a role there, and companies with highly engaged employees reap the benefits of that.
According to Prof. Michael Wade - Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD and Director of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation Center (DBT), some of the key areas to look into as leaders prepare their companies for the future are:
Customer journey mapping to understand how the company can better connect with what is important to them
Availability and readiness of resources within the organization to build a clear gap analysis between what is needed to perform at the new required capacity and the current skills in order to define a compelling change agenda
Communications and training: adding clarity to the reason behind the need to change and the urgency (why now?), complemented by stakeholder education at all levels of the organization
Agile ways of working by promoting experimentation and learning and embedding it in the execution and the company culture
When companies focus on providing a great employee experience, it affects every aspect of the business, including the service that employees deliver to customers.
This is where Employee experience and Customer experience meet and define an urgent need for focus from leadership. Research shows that a great employee experience inevitably leads to a great customer experience.
"Engaged and empowered employees understand the role they each play at work and more naturally want to help customers and provide an amazing experience", argues Morgan.
And according to Accenture "companies with highly engaged workforces are 21 percent more profitable than those with poor engagement. In fact, companies with great EX outperform Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 by 122 percent". So what are companies waiting to show improvement in the area of Employee Experience?
What has your organization done this past year to improve the employee experience? Are you creating an environment where your employees feel it is part of their role to improve the daily experience for your customers?