By Neal McMahon, Regional Sales Leader UK&I
Employees across the UK are once again free to work from where they please, meaning that financial services staff can finally return to the office. But employees now have different lifestyles and preferences and in order to support them, many employers have opted to allow the freedom to choose where to work by embracing hybrid working models. In fact, many large corporations, including Citigroup, Ford, Salesforce, and Siemens have announced that they will allow more workers to continue working from home post-pandemic. The majority (63%) of full-time employees in the UK are still working from home according to research from the Hi Bob people management platform.
For its Life and Work Beyond 2020 report, Avaya surveyed 10,000 people from 11 countries in order to gauge public attitude to hybrid working. It found that more than 60%of workers support remote working. Additionally, nearly half (46%) envision ‘work from anywhere’ being a viable way of working into the future and another 46% of respondents reported an increase in productivity while working remotely. The findings suggest that giving employees freedom over where they work can have business benefits. But productivity must be ensured, and employees need particular capabilities to achieve this across both face-to-face and remote interactions.
The Digital Experience Economy
The experience economy has been around since the late nineties, when it was outlined by Harvard Economists Pine and Gilmore. Since then, they’ve identified the importance of the digital experience too. In today’s digital experience economy, there is a lot of competition among companies for consumer’s attention and time, both of which are limited. Creating positive experiences starts with attention, but in order for companies to earn their share, they need to design and deliver great experiences by mastering user experience (UX) and multi-experience(MX) principles.
The best way to maintain customer attention is with experiences that matter, but to create these, everyone in the business must be empowered to service the customer. When customers have an issue, often it takes collaboration from multiple departments to handle, and organisational silos only slow this process down, at the expense of the customer. The convergence of employee experience and customer experience can lead to beneficial outcomes and experiences for both customers and employees. Employees become capable of creating these experiences when they are empowered to perform at their best, irrespective of where they work from. Employees should be enabled to collaborate productively with the right communications capabilities.
Elevating the Employee Experience (EX)
Employees want to stay connected and remain productive, but there are multiple communications and collaborations apps out there, and many remote workers have to use a handful of them on a day-to-day basis. Nearly 60% of UK employees often use three or more tools, apps, and resources to complete a work project, according to research conducted last year. To talk to colleagues and customers, some financial companies use one app for video conferencing and another for team chat, one more for file-sharing, another for task management and possibly even an additional CRM for sharing and storing customer information.
To add to this, customers today want to access customer services from their preferred or most convenient touch point – a multi experience. This means employees must have the capabilities to connect with customers when they want, in the way they want, whether that’s via phone, chat, video meetings, collaboration, file sharing, task management or a virtual room. Both customers and employees deserve an effortless experience, and this is possible through cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS).
It’s possible to elevate the customer experience while offering employees a single number for calls, chat, video meetings, file sharing and continuous collaboration that reaches them wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using with the right UCaaS or single-app team collaboration solution. It will also allow for the employees own preferences for call forwarding, availability, presence, messaging, and video meetings, and be easily manageable, removing the burden from an IT admin, staff, or a reception.
In today’s cloud world, a business needs more than monolithic glass-ceiling apps to create experiences that matter for its hybrid workforce and customers. That’s why composability must be a factor when selecting a communications and collaboration solution. With a composable communications solution, organisations can combine and re-combine specific capabilities, allowing them to redesign their solution as required to achieve outcomes in the moment. This cloud-based flexibility allows the collaboration solution to grow and adapt as an organisation does, making it agile and competitive under rapidly changing circumstances and turning it into a solution for both the present and the future.
EX equals CX
An intentional and well thought out employee experiences is the key to creating customer experiences that matter and, because of its customer-centricity, this must be a priority in the world of financial services. A collaboration solution can empower employees to solve problems efficiently and easily by breaking down organisational silos, making it effortless to collaborate with team members in different departments with different disciplines.
As we build the new world of work, we must focus on what makes us productive. Composable collaboration tools are crucial in creating employee experiences that can help to maintain customer attention.