Empathy in CX Goes Beyond Customer Centricity

Human centricity: That’s what excites Andre Kaiser, Marketing Director at Commerzbank, most about customer experience (CX).

“Customer centricity is a buzzword; we need to also have employee centricity,” said Kaiser during the Xperience 2022 opening customer keynote panel. The term human centricity is a much better fit, he added.

Xperience 2022 focused on how companies can be human-centric — making customers and employees central to business strategies. At its core, human centricity is about empathy — “…putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, truly understanding that person and their unique circumstances, and then taking meaningful action to improve their situation,” explained Genesys CEO Tony Bates during his opening keynote.

Everything from the keynote to breakout sessions to product demos at the show explored fresh ideas for delivering unique, empathetic experiences. Attendees learned how to use the cloud to orchestrate those experiences and deliver empathy at scale. And they heard how human centricity in customer service is tied to better business outcomes.

Passion and Innovation for the Employee Experience

Genesys customers are at the forefront of this. Some speaking at Xperience said the greatest benefit of moving CX to the cloud is access to the ongoing innovation in the Genesys platforms. This allows them to keep pace with changing customer expectations.

Employees benefit, too. Moving to a cloud contact center has enabled some contact center technical staff to focus more on bringing innovations to the contact center and making the most of their applications, rather than needing to focus on simply keeping it all up and running. And that has increased their engagement and motivation.

Employee engagement is a powerful asset. Companies can’t deliver a great customer experience without engaged employees. CX employees are engaged when they have positive experiences. And this happens when they have access to tools and information that help them do their jobs better — an intuitive unified omnichannel desktop, easy access to customer history and full context about where customers are in their journeys.

They also need workforce engagement management (WEM) tools that simplify scheduling, provide easy access to performance data, and help with coaching and training.

“Contact center employees have the hardest and most important job as the face of the business. We’re asking so much of them,” said Casey Ramirez, Strategy Advancement Advisor at Humana. “I think: How do I make their jobs easier?”

One way Ramirez and her team does this is with weekly experiments based on Genesys product updates. She looks for ways to bring Humana employees the knowledge needed to focus on the relationship with the customer.

Many speakers at Xperience emphasized that WEM should be central to everything you do in the contact center. And, it’s why 85% of Genesys customers use three or more WEM capabilities, said Olivier Jouve, EVP and GM of the Genesys Cloud™ platform, during the keynote.

“Customer and employee experiences are more linked than ever,” he added. “It’s time to invest more in enhancing the employee experience and the capabilities to create more powerful human connections at those critical moments of truth.”

Delivering Empathy at Scale

The technologies are available today to enable companies to deliver unique, empathetic experiences across channels for customers and employees.

“The goal is to deliver empathetic experiences, every time, for everyone: employees and customers alike,” said Bates during his keynote, adding that companies can scale empathy in the cloud with data and artificial intelligence (AI). “Interactions and integrations are painless in the cloud. Innovations happen faster and the total cost of ownership is less than on-premises solutions.”

The cloud brings data from across an organization — and it enables predictive and proactive AI capabilities across channels. It also simplifies processes and helps create personalized and empathetic experiences, noted Jouve.

Companies using cloud technologies gain an ideal blend of flexibility and control to enhance both customer and employee experiences. These tools make it easier to unify digital and voice channels to create seamless, personalized experiences. And companies can adapt to — and act on — changes, expectations and needs. When a company chooses cloud tools, they can integrate with other vendors in the contact center ecosystem to deliver unique customer and employee experiences.

A Roadmap to Experience Orchestration

A common theme across the Xperience sessions is the shift from business centricity to human centricity — where empathy drives trust and loyalty for long-term revenue growth. Companies are moving from siloed interactions to end-to-send experiences where customers feel remembered, heard and understood across the entire customer lifecycle.

They’re seeing employees as differentiators — not resources. And they’re moving from AI for automation to AI for personalized experience orchestration. And that creates unique, empathetic experiences based on customer and employee context.

Experience orchestration involves listening for the full context, understanding and predicting to provide the next-best action, acting to drive business outcomes, and learning from those actions and outcomes to improve future interactions. Companies that use experience orchestration, facilitated by cloud contact center technologies and AI, have an effective roadmap to guide them on how best to deliver on human centricity with empathetic experiences.

“Empathy has always mattered, but today it’s imperative; 80% of consumers say they’d buy more if a company delivered personalized experiences at every interaction,” said Bates.

Human-centric companies know this. And they embrace empathy.

“We are very excited about being empowered to deliver this next-level, fantastic, personalized experience,” said Ramirez. “Experience is really the differentiator going forward. That’s how people are going to pick the brands they choose to do business with. And our promise to our customers is to live up to that — and follow through on that.”