Companies and organizations succeed when they offer better experiences to their stakeholders, be they customers, employees, or suppliers. A better experience, one that has value added, often at little cost, builds loyalty and profits.
That’s the theme of a new book by futurist Joyce Gioia, Experience Rules: How Positive Experiences Will Drive Profit Into The Future (2023, Indie Books International).
The trend has fostered a rise to agents for this change, called Chief Experience Officers or CExOs. Gioia should know. She has been one for two decades, speaking professionally on seven continents and previously coauthoring five books, three business bestsellers.
This book is a roadmap to help organizations deliver positive experiences.
The coming wave fostered by chief experience officers is particularly evident in information technology and healthcare industries.
Typically, the only reason people will choose to connect to an organization is if there is a compelling value proposition. Stakeholders must be able to readily determine what’s in it for them.
The secret to adding value is to discover what the organization already has or can acquire that has a high perceived value to the customer and a low or zero cost.
Consider hospitals where time often passes very slowly. Having access to creature comforts can help make a world of difference for worried family members.
Some hospitals help families navigate the maze of corridors and different floors by using electronic breadcrumbs or a popular GPS system.
Some close family members spend all day at the facility, and one may often be on watch during the night. Many facilities now provide lay-flat recliners in the rooms.
Others may offer cafeteria privileges or better connections with Wi-Fi.
Hospitals recognize families are an essential support system for the patient’s recovery. Providing a better experience helps the hospital fulfill its mission without greatly adding to the cost.
Many companies now recognize the value of creating positive experiences for their corporate team members as well.
The secret to keeping great talent is to find out what they want, and give it to them. Most workers, Gioia says, are actually looking for the same four things:
- They seek opportunities for training and development.
- They want to know how working for the firm will advance their careers.
- They strive to find life-work balance.
- They want to see how what they do contributes to the bottom line of the organization.
This concept of delivering positive experiences works for consultants, too.
Here are the steps for consultants to achieve the enhanced connection with their clients the book promotes:
Overcommunicate. Particularly when consultants are working on projects, clients want to know where they are in the process of completion.
Demonstrate high ethics and integrity. Clients want to know that their consultants have high ethics and unqualified integrity.
Report in plain language. Make it easy for everyone to understand.
Be candid. Candor builds trust in today’s world.
Keep them informed. Our favorite consultants and friends are those who send us emails that alert us to news that applies to our business.
Once there is an understanding of the value of delivering these positive experiences to the many stakeholder groups, Gioia says it’s time to put it all together, and create a plan:
Begin at the beginning
Determine where you already are. Examine precisely where each department or division is in its branding process. In particular, it is important to assess attitudes toward change.
Define the company brands
The Chief Experience Officer should deliver a plan to the leadership team for their discussion and approval.
Prepare the employees for the transformation
Begin by finding out what people value and believe about change.
Look at the experiences currently being delivered
What is working; what is not? What needs to be fine-tuned?
Create and implement the action plans
Once there is executive guidance, it is time to create action plans. Remember, people support what they help to create. Also, make sure there are milestones along the way to encourage people to keep going.
Gioia believes that taking care of all of the stakeholders with positive experiences will optimize profit, since they will all be engaged to support the organization’s success.