If you follow customer service trends then you know that technology continues to blur the line between digital and physical customer experiences. While technologies like chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) can play an obvious role in shaping the customer experience, true transformation comes from not only looking digitally outward at your customers, but inward as well.
Last week I was at my local Whole Foods when I saw a maintenance associate with a broom in one hand and a small tablet in the other. As I watched, she cleaned the outside patio, and then held her tablet to a small device hidden behind a pole. When I curiously asked her what that was, she showed me the app all the maintenance associates use during their shifts to track their activities. The management team has defined specific activities throughout different sections of the store that must be executed each hour. “Checking in” to these sections via those devices not only helps her supervisors ensure accountability, but actually helps her do her job better. She scrolled through, showing me the progress she’d made so far that hour, and then quickly bid me adieu to go check the produce department as her app indicated. No wonder Whole Foods is always so clean!
Now perhaps you don’t work in a retail environment like Whole Foods, but regardless of the setting, identifying areas where technology can improve your employee experience will consequently improve your customer experience. Forrester Research’s new report, “Digital Customer Experience Trends, 2017,” details how an improvement in the customer experience extends across an organization and impacts employee experiences as well. We’ve long heard the adage “happy agents make for happy customers” and I agree completely. However, in today’s landscape, having pleasant and empathetic employees isn’t enough. Unfortunately, “happy agents coupled with the advanced technology makes for happy customers” just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.
In the aforementioned report, Forrester describes a screen-based tool created by Oak Labs that decreases the amount of time it takes a store associate to get an item from the stockroom to a customer by approximately 75 percent. Using technology to improve internal processes creates a ripple effect that can extend to other processes and beyond the organization, ultimately resulting in more positive customer experiences.
When was the last time you performed an inventory of your internal processes to identify inefficiencies? Where can technology help close those gaps? As you consider your technology spend and roadmap for 2018 and beyond, consider looking inward as well as outward.
Get your copy of “Digital Customer Experience Trends, 2017.”