Getting the employee experience right is a necessary precondition to getting your customer experience right. IT can impact that by implementing the right collaboration solutions and other tools to address the employee experience, an idea highlighted in an article from InformationWeek and confirmed by the experiences of our experts.
Picking the right tools for the digital workplace and implementing them wisely is the key to removing the impediments to delivering a great customer experience. There’s some indication, though, that IT isn’t fulfilling this need, at least in the eyes of employees — a survey found only 37 percent of employees were satisfied with IT. Organizations would do well to try to improve that.
Leadership should spend time observing how employees work and soliciting feedback, then brainstorm ideas and try prototypes for how to improve their experience. It’s important for a collaboration strategy to focus on addressing specific business needs and improving specific processes, rather than implementing product features simply because they’re available.
The same ideas apply to customers. To pull out more complete feedback from customers, organizations need to define what a great experience is at a fairly high level. What truly differentiates you? What do customers really value? What’s going to keep them coming back? Many times it’s not about doing surveys, but rather relying more on observational practices. In other words, don’t ask questions, but observe behaviors.
Often, customers — and employees — won’t be able to articulate exactly what they want, but they’ll know when they’re having a great experience. For example, nobody could have articulated to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz how the popular coffeehouse chain should look and feel, but once people went into Starbucks for the first time, they had a great experience and didn’t care how much their cup of coffee cost.
Of course, Starbucks’ look and feel has continued to evolve, and that’s a valuable lesson when you’re trying to improve the customer and employee experience. When approaching a problem from a design perspective, you make a lot of assumptions. It’s best to test these assumptions through experimentation, prototyping and pilot programs.
For example, Verizon transformed a clunky sales tracking process into a slick mobile app through a process of prototyping and testing, the InformationWeek article explains. As always, it’s helpful to observe behaviors and test the assumptions you made about what really makes for a great employee or customer experience.
Source: InformationWeek, August 2013
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