Connecting employee and customer experiences can significantly improve revenue growth, innovation, cost reduction, and digital transformation, according to a new study from Connected Experience Cloud provider, Lucidworks and Forrester Consulting.

The study of over 350 technology and business leaders, titled Connected Experiences Are Personalised Experiences, outlines the aspirations, challenges, and benefits around creating connected experiences for employees and customers.

Most brands put personalisation and omnichannel capabilities at the top of their enterprise-level priority list. Despite this, two-thirds of respondents report an inability to consistently service customers across touchpoints and personalise those experiences.

Customer experience (CX) often takes priority over employee experience (EX), but there is a clear connection between better EX and improved CX. Engaged employees are more productive and higher performing, which in turn means they deliver better customer experiences.

However, data woes hinder employee productivity with almost every respondent reporting data-related challenges serving customers over digital channels.

Strong customer search delivers results that are personalised and demonstrates an understanding of customers’ intent. Strong enterprise search helps employees do their job faster, more effectively and with greater satisfaction. However, there is a disconnect between customer search and enterprise search, using data from one to feed the other.

Personalisation is more than delivering the right results according to what users are typing into the search bar, according to Lucidworks CEO, Will Hayes.

“A connected experience applies insights to deliver what users need, in real time across every channel. Customers receive relevant product recommendations, support agents help customers in their moment of need, and employees see the bigger picture to make strategic decisions,” he said.

Companies that understand real-time intent from customer search and browse to personalise an experience within that moment are more likely to report revenue growth (50%), innovation (40%) and operational efficiency (35%).

In addition, companies that strongly agree that they provide connected experiences across channels are almost twice as likely to report major operational efficiency gains, as a result of their employee search capabilities than those who do not (64% versus 33%).

The Forrester survey uncovered five key business capabilities that when used in conjunction, enable businesses to deliver connected experiences.

  1. Real-Time Personalisation: Highly connected companies are 40% more likely to use real-time intent to personalise experiences in the moment. Lucidworks customer base includes a leading retailer who uses Fusion to deliver signals-based personalisation, creating a $10 million annual increase in revenue.
  2. Harnessing Customer Signals: The lack of signals from customer behaviour, as well as an inability to derive insights from signals, were two of the top five challenges identified by respondents. Lucidworks discovered that one of their customers, a leading department store, saw a 50% increase in conversions by capturing signals and applying insights in real time to optimise the shopper experience.
  3. Understanding Intent: An overwhelming 97% of respondents have challenges understanding customer intent. Lucidworks saw one of their customers, a leading provider of open-source software solutions, use signals-based intent detection on their customer support portal to improve customer self-solve rates by 300%.
  4. Cross-Channel Delivery: Without a coordinated cross-channel strategy, creating relevant experiences is nearly impossible. Lucidworks found that one of their customers, an enterprise data management firm, saved over $5 million in costs after deploying signals-based personalisation across multiple support channels using Fusion.
  5. Machine Learning (ML): Four-in-10 (40%) of respondents cite a lack of machine learning as an obstacle to understanding customer intent. Lucidworks reports that one of their customers, a major home goods retailer, deployed Fusion’s out-of-the-box ML to improve their digital experience, resulting in $200 million in organic annual growth.