by Anth Hynes
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Experience is everything. Truly.
Those who have followed my journey over the years will know that I’m a consistent advocator for how customer experience leaders stand out and perform the best.
Customer Experience (CX) is a topic that can be discussed from many angles. This year, as the travel industry navigates undoubtedly challenging times, having a solid CX strategy is crucial to support our customers.
And as the Harvard service–profit chain theory of business-management tells us, there is an intrinsic link between employee satisfaction, customer loyalty and profitability. Therefore, if employees feel happy and supported, it underpins their ability to deliver to an amazing experience for customers.
So, ahead of next week’s global ‘CX Day’ I wanted to reflect on the new ways that EX and CX has excelled throughout our business in 2020. And share the ways in which our CX strategy has helped us stay ahead of the game.
We've supported our people in new ways, so that they can help our customers effectively by;
Prioritizing health and wellbeing.
2020 has been tough. While our people have been navigating working from home during a mentally challenging time, it’s been more important than ever to invest in employee wellbeing. We’ve done this by creating new support materials, online fitness programs, hosting a virtual wellbeing retreat and fostering even more flexible working arrangements.
Maintaining a strong culture.
In lieu of having an office for most of this year, we’ve had to become creative in order to maintain that ‘productive but fun’ culture. We kept our culture in-check by moving events ‘virtual’, including hosting our annual Hack Day and weekly Team Trivia. And in order to keep employees productive, it’s been of paramount importance to check-in regularly, ensure they have the right tools to get on with the job, empower them with greater flexibility to perform their roles remotely, and provide regular communications along the way. For WEX, putting effort into these areas has paid off. Our recent employee survey results showed the highest levels of engagement we’ve ever had, which is ultimately great for our customers.
Our focus has been to make things fast, easy and safe for our customers by;
Supporting our customers, so they can support theirs.
When the unexpected happens, to maintain a good experience, it’s important to focus on supporting your customers where they need it most. When the pandemic hit, our customers were forced to navigate an influx of cancellations due to Government imposed travel restrictions, resulting in many refunds and chargebacks. In response to this, we allocated additional resources, streamlined business processes and educated our frontline team with more knowledge to help our customers and make things easier for them.
Adapting to deliver great experience.
Just because a pandemic has been thrown into the mix doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to stop building on your future customer experience strategy. For WEX, this meant that during 2020 we needed to re-align our people resources to adapt to customer needs now and for the future. One example of this is that we’ve reorganized our IT function to one that’s even more focused on customer priorities and outcomes. This means that we can continue to strengthen our innovative technology stack, quickly and efficiently, in direct response to customer needs.
Maintaining extraordinary levels of customer service.
It’s never been more important for travel companies to look after their customers and continue delivering high standards of customer service, so that when we emerge, we can stand strong again. For us, this has meant an ongoing focus on our voice of customer program, being proactive in understanding our customers' needs, and working closely with them on solutions.
It’s important to regularly check-in with customers and ask for their feedback. Our recent Transactional Net Promoter Score of +80 is testament to the huge amount of effort our team is putting in during these times.
In short, great CX begins and succeeds with great EX. This principle hasn’t changed in 2020, but it has shone through in new ways. This year has kept me and our business on our toes. And it’s forced us to re-think and adapt. I’m confident we will all bounce back stronger than ever and I look forward to continuing on this journey into the future of travel payments with you all.
Learn more about how WEX travel payment solutions can be tailored to your business, so you can accelerate and streamline operations while creating lasting growth and success for your organization.