Time and again, studies prove that more empowered, engaged employees ultimately deliver a better Customer Experience. If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a call center rep or a retail associate, you can likely guess the answer to this question: Are unhappy workers capable of delivering great experiences to customers? No, not really. They can exchange your shirt for a different size or file your tax returns on time, but they can’t make a decent experience into a great one — mainly because they’re not having a great one.
There’s a reason companies like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn continually top the charts for Glassdoor’s annual Best Places to Work list. It’s not just free stuff and flexible hours; it’s the entire Worker Experience they provide — all its myriad pieces: engagement as an HR priority, top technology, hands-on training, and other great benefits.
Still not convinced? Look at the math. If you’re thinking about profits, know this: publicly traded companies in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list have gained an average 10.8 percent a year since 1998. Generally speaking, these are companies that put time and money into their workforce year after year. They’ve gotten the message that a happy customer is the result of a great Worker Experience. Appirio calls this relationship the Virtuous Cycle:
Align your Customer Experience ecosystem on collaboration
Today’s workforce productivity is all about collaboration. We want it faster, better, and more streamlined and shareable than ever before. And we should; we have the technology to make real-time collaboration an everyday reality. Forrester Research recommends asking a few questions that will help align your team on collaboration — essentially driving adoption of an organization-wide technology strategy by creating the environment that makes it possible in the first place.
- What does your business need employees to do?
- How do employees currently share information and gain insights?
- What capabilities do you need to give workers?
- How will your vendor’s solution support the Worker Experience?
Answering this will help you determine what cultural support structures (e.g., professional rewards for effective collaboration, like gamification) your business needs to put in place. The people in your organization who make Customer Experience decisions should work with executives and other business leaders to develop this vision while working on the broader Customer Experience strategy; the 2 are interrelated. When you’re discussing current and future journey maps, the conversation should involve future employee journeys that highlight exactly how they’ll work across the ecosystem to serve customers.
In answering this question, you’ll uncover existing barriers between your employees and the information they need to be successful. You’ll also uncover opportunities to empower your employees or, as Forrester says, piggyback on their workarounds; often, cloud collaboration apps like Dropbox, Trello, and Google Hangouts are acquired/used by individuals or small teams to address specific knowledge management or collaboration challenges. Teams tasked with optimizing Customer Experience should work with HR to assess workers’ capabilities during employee engagement surveys.
As with the last question, the answer to this one will dictate the combination of collaboration tools your business needs to employ in order to improve the Worker Experience (and better serve customers). Begin by evaluating the results of employee assessments to uncover gaps. Want to fully understand those gaps? Talk to your employees. If they’re acquiring their own collaboration technology, find out why.
Tech managers and Customer Experience leaders should use the resultant insights to create a requirements list, as well as a list of new vendors (i.e., those selling to employees), to include in the evaluation process.
You want collaboration tools to be easy to use and to be able to fit seamlessly into different work styles and processes. This involves mining for information; how well do these tools connect deskbound and remote workers? What support do they provide mobile workers? How do they incorporate external users (e.g., customers and partners)? And lastly, how seamlessly do they integrate with existing business apps?
This is when business leaders and Customer Experience-focused teams need to take a hard look at the big picture. If certain capabilities aren’t available, are they on the roadmap? Has the vendor been reliable and delivered in the past?
Jumpstart your Worker Experience transformation
Appirio is taking its expertise on the road! Join us at our Worker Experience tour — coming to a city near you. Get actionable insights into the relationship between engaged workers and happy customers, network with experts, and learn secrets of success from industry thought leaders.