One reason why the rise of women in CX will boost revenues

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Chanice Henry

Women in customer experience

The last decade has undoubtedly seen more women rise to roles in management. According to recent research, this seems to be paying off for businesses. Aside from meeting the basic moral duty of providing equal opportunities for all people, companies with more female executives are proving to be more profitable and innovative.

Customer experience specialists

Customer experience is a key cash-flow driver for business. Industry commentators have predicted that women in management will be especially influential for one particular area of CX growth: psychological engagement with customers.

Watch: CX Masterclass: Mapping digital data to human behavior with USAA

Emotional engagement 

In our 2019 predictions for CX report, a member of our 30 under 30 panel, Suzy Nixon, Customer Experience Manager, Health Services at ANZ Bupa Experience Team forecasted that“ ….we will continue to see more female executives as the importance of ‘emotion’ in both the customer and people experience continues to rise. Typically, women are more vocal about emotions and more likely to bring this to the surface.”

Sheryl Battles, VP, Global Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement at Pitney Bowes said: “Fifty percent of the global population is female, and women outnumber men in seeking higher education across the world according to SI News.  That is why it makes sense that businesses looking to succeed are advancing more women in in the workplace.” Pitney Bowes have dedicated themselves to achieving balance and appear to be succeeding judging by their recognition in Bloomberg’s 2019 Gender-Equality Index. Compared to the 26% average for global companies, 29% of Pitney’s executives are women.

The quest to delight customers has focused many brands’ attention onto the relationship between emotions and brand loyalty. In fact, some believe that emotional connections are the most persuasive factors for consumer buying decisions.

“Every experience is viewed through a lens of emotion." - Clicktale

Sheryl Battles, noted: “More women in the workplace have the potential to help brands enhance connections with clients that go beyond a single transaction.  Research shows that clients buy-in to a brand, to feel emotionally connected, to feel good about buying from them: 68% of UK consumers in a CXM study said they would be willing to spend more on a product if it was from a brand they love.”

“Brands use data and personalisation to generate this emotional connection – to tailor communications to the buyer. Understanding how emotions influence the purchase of products, as well as the engagement of teams is part of emotional engagement.”

Read: Why Emotions Matter 

Empathetic and adaptable approaches are also crucial for effective leadership. Sheryl Battles said: “In the complex, rapidly evolving business landscape the ability to read and manage emotions, exhibit social skills and connect with others will be important.  While both men and women must use emotional intelligence to motivate their employees in the future, research has shown that women do tend to have an edge over men in exhibiting these skills.”  

Even though male and female brains are mostly similar, commentators maintain that the explanation for why women excel at certain tasks compared to men, and vice versa, could be attributed to anatomical differences between male and female brains.

Ragini Verma, an associate professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, "found greater neural connectivity from front to back and within one hemisphere in males, suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. In contrast, in females, the wiring goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition."

Point being, gender diversity can be a key strength when it comes to collaborative decision making. When you examine the boardrooms and managerial positions around the globe it’s clear that businesses could do with more balance.

Of course diversity in the workplace is about more than just gender as highlighted by Sheryl Battles:

 “Today’s global markets are by definition diverse; made-up of businesses from around the world, with clients in all countries, of different generations, genders, ethnicities and cultures.  Having a workforce that mirrors the diversity of our clients, decision makers, strategic partners, influencers and regulators makes good business sense.  The mix of differences in our workforce also drives more innovation and better problem solving as a result of the variety of perspectives and experiences inherent in diversity.”

“Thus, the diversity of our workforce gives us a better understanding of the markets and cultures we serve, more customised experiences for clients and more relevant innovation for each market.  It also enables us to work together more effectively, on behalf of our clients.”