Study: COOs prioritize both customer and employee experience

They are less likely to see external benefits, compared to C-suite peers

Companies investing in total digital experience stand to make more progress than those that don’t.

To deal with evolving business challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are seeking to streamline operational efficiency while keeping employees and customers safe. According to a new study by ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab, which surveyed 900 executives across 13 countries, those that are investing in customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) as part of a cohesive digital experience strategy—“total experience”—stand to make more progress than those that are not.

COOs in particular see internal benefits from digitizing both EX and CX. However, they are less likely to see external benefits than their peers. Overall, COOs are concerned about the host of challenges that stand between their organizations and achieving total experience.

COOs are skeptical of CX

Compared to their peers, COOs are skeptical about the value of CX. The organizations they represent have made the least progress on digitizing customer experience. They require more evidence of ROI before they’re willing to invest in ventures such as expanding digital payment methods or personalized messaging and engagement.

Digitizing EX brings operational benefits, but COOs are unsure

Digitizing and streamlining employee experience provide similar benefits—including operational benefits like better planning and decision-making and scalability, and financial benefits such as increased revenue, greater efficiency, and reduced cost.

However, COOs are skeptical of the value of digitizing EX. They do see higher value than their peers in areas related to workflows, such as unifying employee service with automated workflows across departments, and transforming discrete corporate functitons into collaborative workflows. But they are less likely to see other benefits.

Nascent investment in EX across the board

Organizations as a whole might share COOs’ skepticism. The study shows businesses are just beginning to invest in EX. Larger entities with higher IT budgets tend to be the most advanced in employee experience: 33% percent of firms with revenues of $5 billion are leaders, against just 10% of firms in the smallest size category. To them, the benefits of investing in EX are clear.

COOs see organizational benefits from TX

COOs are more likely to see internal organizational value from total experience than external value. In their view, the greatest benefits of TX are better planning and decision-making.

Despite the benefits of TX, COOs are far more skeptical than their peers. A large part of this skepticism might stem from the range of challenges standing in their way. Compared to their peers, they are more worried about insufficient technology investment, tools, and data.