Know your customer(s)
In 2018 I wrote about the usefulness of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) in driving successful digital transformation (DX). Today I'm going to dip into the developing area of digital customer experience (DCX). But with a twist.
In January, Nemertes Research published a new report entitled, Solid Customer Experience Relies on Well-Managed Communications, and I wrote a blog drawing on one of that paper's main points, being performance management is a vital component in the successful deployment of a company's UCC strategy.
Interestingly, the sub-heading to the Nemertes report read, “UCC Performance Management Key to Success for Internal and External Customers,” and it's internal customers who I'd like to focus on today.
UCC and the future of work
In the broader enterprise environment, not just within global technology companies like ours, the future of work continues to be one of the hottest topics available for discussion. However, it's clear that UCC is going to be a defining driver of that discussion, particularly for the employees of unified communications solution providers.
Generation Y, now more popularly-described as Millennials, are now the largest segment in the US workforce. The often-cited traits of Millennials include being keen to work, being team-oriented, wanting to make a difference, being tech-savvy, valuing work-life balance, but also being job-hoppers.
The Millennial employees who change companies usually do so because of misalignment of values between themselves and their employer, which causes them to disengage. A Gallup State of the Global Workplace report found over 70% of US workers were not engaged at work, at a cost of up to $550 billion in lost productivity. The report also identified firms with high employee engagement had 21% higher productivity.
So forward-thinking companies should be looking to improve their internal customer experience (ICX) in order to improve their external customer experience (CX).
UCC and employee engagement
UCC and UCC performance management are vital cogs in building positive ICX.
We've all worked in roles where a poorly performing communications system has prevented us achieving an outcome we wanted. It's extremely frustrating for an employee whose only intention is to please their customer. So if a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providing employer isn't focused on maintaining uptime, delivering high-quality sound and video, and troubleshooting via proactive root-cause analysis, they are going to disappoint not one, but two customers. The external customer and the internal customer.
Employee mobility, collaboration and flexibility is becoming ever more important. Nemertes' 2018-2019 study of 653 global technology firms found almost all use UCC in their technology strategy, designed to promote improved engagement, collaboration and productivity. Thus, performance management of a UCC environment, using software like IR Prognosis, is absolutely critical to service delivery of the internal customer experience.
UCC performance management and customer satisfaction
85% of the firms in the Nemertes study have developed, or are developing a DCX strategy to improve external customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings. It would be fascinating if we knew how many were equally concerned about ICX.
Nemertes' survey did include the percentage of firms using UCC performance management tools. That being 61%. For those who have deployed UCC without performance management tools, the improvement to employee productivity is 16%. When performance management is deployed, particularly using multi-vendor tools like IR Prognosis, the ability to monitor an entire UCC ecosystem, proactively determine root cause, and perform remote troubleshooting, lifts employee productivity improvement to 21%.
UCC performance management tools do deliver better internal customer outcomes, which logically implies higher employee engagement and retention. Further, it's not difficult to find reams of work pointing to just how important employee retention is to the bottom-line. UCaaS combined with UCC performanance management tools are a real option to address the issues faced by companies relating to employee productivity and just as importantly, their job satisfaction.