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Imagine a workplace that isn’t bound by four walls or regular hours, where human factors such as choice, flexibility, and personalization are on par with business objectives for increased productivity. Imagine a workplace where employees have instant access to tools and resources and where global collaboration happens in real-time within virtual environments comprised of all types of workers.
Imagine a workplace that understands that the purpose of technology is not to replace humans, but to enhance capabilities that are unique to them. A workplace where routine, predictable tasks are given to machines so that humans can focus on fluid activities that fuel passion, spur innovation, and address emerging opportunities and challenges. A workplace where an exceptional employee experience translates to an amazing customer experience.
The future of work doesn’t have to be left to the imagination. It’s already here. And, digital technologies play a huge role in making it possible. Employers are taking full advantage of technology to enhance human-to-human and human-to-machine collaboration for accelerated learning and performance improvements. They are deploying new digital services that enable real-time data sharing and communication between workers, regardless of location. And, they are evolving IT systems to measure and dramatically improve the quality of digital experiences employees have with each other and with the customers, clients, partners and citizens they serve.
For example, Swisscom’s workers can pose questions via “Ask the Brain,” an AI-powered solution that identifies the relevant experts within its 21,000-person organization and automatically shares the inquiry. As a result, employees spend less time searching for answers and more time implementing them.
Amazon uses advanced technology such as robotics and cognitive computing to quickly train around 120,000 temporary workers during the holiday season. Using tools such as automated training screens, “smart” tape dispensers, and robotic pallets, they’ve reduced new hire training from six weeks to as little as two days. Further, these workforce innovations have created permanent jobs. Last year, Amazon retained 14 percent of its seasonal hires, in part because their augmented warehouses generate more orders, requiring a greater number of human workers to process them.
At Accenture, they are driving a new level of digital employee experience for the firm’s 400,000 workers in more than 50 countries. By using mobile apps, cloud-based capabilities and the latest technologies, like Windows 10, Office 365 and Skype for Business, Accenture’s employees are set to deliver their best work wherever they are and on whatever device.
Riverbed customer Raiffeisen, the third largest Swiss bank, is empowering their employees to provide the best possible customer experience. They are creating a modern digital workplace that gives their 11,000 employees at around 900 locations access to the digital services they need to complete a wide range of banking functions while mobile, from mortgage approvals to credit checks to customer engagement and support. And, by proactively monitoring the employee experience, they are able to quickly rectify digital performance problems that may impact customer service quality.
It’s evident that today’s employees are empowered not only by their skillsets and knowledge, but by a growing set of capabilities made possible through technology and digitization. These capabilities bring the promise of higher productivity, increased business performance and convenience, spurring new ideas that redefine what’s humanly possible. This will undoubtedly create major new opportunities for employees and employers, and for humankind.
In the digital world, employee experience is linked to customer experience; customer experience to brand experience. Joseph Preciado, a Senior Director at Asurion, recently explained this connection during a panel session moderated by Riverbed’s CMO at NRF 2019, Retail’s Big Show. Representing the brands of major telecom companies and high-tech device manufacturers, Asurion provides technical services, mobile protection, and extended warranties to more than 305 million customers around the globe and 34,000+ retail storefronts.
According to Preciado, “You can’t have a good customer experience if you don’t have a good employee experience. The two are starting to blend.” Asurion employees interact with customers from call centers, home offices, retail kiosks, or on their way to or at a customer location. It’s imperative that the digital technologies being used to facilitate those interactions operate flawlessly. After all, 32 percent of customers said they will stop doing business with a brand they love after only one bad experience.
Because Asurion understands the criticality of digital performance, it is taking measures to monitor all employee and customer transactions — on the phone, online, and even in-store — to make sure that every laptop, PC, mobile device, tablet or kiosk is working properly. They know that behind every digital experience is a human experience and that, by ensuring digital performance, the human experience will be positive one for employees and customers alike.