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Don’t let a lousy worker experience cripple your customer experience

Clint Boulton | July 11, 2017
Marketing and digital teams have little trouble shaking free the budget to build new apps and software services for external customers. But what happens when a line-of-business manager asks for more money to upgrade workforce technologies to better serve internal customers?

“While there is agreement that worker experience affects customer experience, improving worker experience is in its infancy for most organizations,” according to the Forrester Consulting report, which was published last month. “They have no real understanding of where to put their efforts for enhancement and how to measure their initiatives.”


Domino effect: Bad WX leads to bad CX

Such situations need to change as companies move forward with their digital transformations.

West says that he has seen from client engagements where CX break down because the worker experience couldn’t keep up. For example, a public sector organization saw its customer service bog down because of a messaging client the agency was using that had rigorous information security controls. The messaging software was locked down so much that conversations couldn’t flow and the tool couldn’t preserve a history of the conversation. “It completely neutered the work experience,” West says. 

He has also noted that client (digital Yellow Pages business) suffered from poor customer service because call center agents lacked good knowledge management and sharing capabilities. Appirio helped institute a “culture of collaboration,” implementing salesforce technologies and other other knowledge management tools. Net Promoter Scores, a popular measure of customer service, ratcheted up.

Even so, West acknowledges that creating digital metrics is much harder for gauging the impact of new technologies for employees working in back-office positions. In such cases, companies must rigorously adopt employee satisfaction metrics and internal service level agreements that everyone can agree on. Jennifer Manry, vice president of enterprise end user computing and access management at Capital One, oversees and closely tracks the adoption of and employee satisfaction with technologies such as Slack and other emerging tools.

Capital One is an outlier, as only 26 percent of managers surveyed by Forrester Consulting have formal WX programs. But you don’t have to have a formal WX program to improve your WX. Forrester Consulting recommends starting with these 4 steps:

Learn what workers need: The cornerstone of a WX program should include metrics, such as employee surveys, interviews and even worker ride-alongs because employees who feel invested are likely to stay with their company.

Align WX with CX: If a software company rolls out a new cloud application, product managers need to ensure they have the right support services for customers. Companies must lay out WX and CX journeys in parallel to ensure both parties are in lockstep.

Provide work tools that match CX needs: Customer success managers require tools to monitor and manage the health of customer accounts as well as the latitude to act when issues arise. IT workers can work with LOB managers to pick vendors and implement devices and applications that will improve WX and CX.


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