I attended the Customer Experience Exchange for Financial Services a couple of weeks ago and had several in-depth conversations with executives responsible for customer experience. These were representatives from some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the U.S. Clearly, customer experience is top of mind for these companies and is considered a cross-functional discipline that sometimes is owned by marketing, but most often not.

There was much discussion about the customer journey and in a “hands-up” survey during one of the keynote sessions, greater than 50 percent of the audience was doing customer journey mapping. In the finance industry in particular, the complete customer journey spans online web properties, mobile apps, call centers, in-branch interactions, agent interactions and more.

I also had a very interesting discussion with Kelly, Director of Customer Experience Learning at a large financial services organization. Her perspective – and one that I am hearing more and more – was that to optimize the customer experience, you have to understand and improve your own employee journey. The employee journey refers to how your internal staff service your customers’ needs. She was very focused on ensuring that the bank’s employees were enabled with the skills, tools and processes to help them serve their customers better and ensure that those customer experiences were the best they could be. Internal collaboration tools were a critical part of this mix and making sure not only the right content was available to employees, but that those tools were actually being used. The most common internal collaboration tool is Microsoft SharePoint, but there are a few others out there that are also widely adopted.

At Webtrends Optimize, we believe in the old cliché that “you can only improve what you measure.” Same holds true for your internal collaboration environments, which implies that in order to improve your internal employee journey, you must measure its performance. And as Kelly helped me understand, this is critical in improving the customer experience.

The Customer Experience Exchange for Financial Services ended up being a great event with interesting conversations that helped me appreciate the connection between the customer journey and the employee journey. It’s something definitely worth considering if you are responsible for customer experience at your company. And if you’re interested in talking about how best to measure and optimize your customers’ experiences, please do contact us.