The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture the Soul and Spirit of the Emerging Worker

The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture the Soul and Spirit of the Emerging Worker

Customer-facing employees desperately want to please

Much has been said about the decline of customer service, but it’s especially unfortunate when customer-facing employees desperately want to please — yet can’t. This appears to be the case for nearly 9 in 10 customer-facing employees (89 percent) — e.g., bank clerks, call center operators, nurses, bank managers and shop supervisors — who in a new research study by Forrester Consulting said there’s a gap between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer expects. Without investment in new technologies and processes, the research suggests, organizations will be facing a new competitive landscape at a substantial disadvantage.

The research, conducted for Ricoh Company, Ltd. by Forrester Consulting, found that poor customer support often stems from inadequate time for customer-facing employees to focus on the customer, as well as inadequate document and process support that would allow more human-centric interaction. Current systems consume too much human bandwidth by necessitating low-value tasks, and they drain energy from workers that could be used to provide a richer customer experience.

The customer expectation gap

The customer expectation gap

  • Forrester finding: Customer-facing workers (89 percent) say they cannot deliver on the experience the customer expects — they are too busy struggling to find information and drive processes through outdated systems and inferior business information workflows.
  • Forrester believes there is a significant opportunity cost to businesses that cannot deliver a personalized human-to-human experience because of time wasted with poor document and process support. Potential impact includes inefficient workers, high employee turnover, declining competitiveness, and lost revenue.
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