Enterprise cloud company ServiceNow has unveiled the 'Service Experience Index', which highlights a dramatic gap between the services we seek out in our personal lives and those we tolerate at work. Despite significant technological advances that allow for positive customer-facing experiences like those from Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb, most companies are not integrating such capabilities into employee-facing services. This means that most people enjoy the tech perks of 2016 at home, but head back to 1996 for work.
ServiceNow details this gap in a new report entitled 'Today’s State of Work: The Service Experience Gap'. The company surveyed more than 2,400 managers in six countries to rate their experiences with common consumer services as well as typical enterprise services on eight criteria. The criteria include how easy services are to request, how fast they are delivered, whether they can be accessed via mobile device, whether delivery expectations are set, and whether status alerts are provided.
In analyzing the results of the survey, ServiceNow developed 'The Service Experience Index' to quantify the quality of services at work and beyond. The results validate the frustrations most employees feel when they go to work each day, and point to a number of causes for the gap that exists.
1) Popular consumer services ranked 103 percent better on “The Service Experience Index” compared to workplace services. While there is still room for improvement, consumer services have the richest customer-facing experiences when compared to typical workplace services such as opening a purchase order, requesting help from another department, ordering equipment, or tracking down information. Consumer services outpaced those at work in terms of ease of use, notifications, and speed of delivery. Workplace services fell behind in every category. On a scale of 0-100, consumer services scored an average of 63 on the Service Experience Index, while work services scored an anemic average of 31.
“Most companies have a maniacal focus on the experiences of their customers, pulling out all the stops to build both satisfaction and loyalty,” said Dave Wright, Chief Strategy Officer, ServiceNow. “But they aren’t using those same principles for their internal-facing experiences. They realize that it is very easy for a customer to take their business elsewhere, but that isn’t the case inside the organization. If employees don’t like working with the HR department, they can’t switch to another HR department – they are stuck.”
2) The Service Experience gap is driven by outdated technologies that sap productivity.
At work, managers are five times more likely to use email and five times less likely to use a mobile app than for consumer services.
“Consumers live in a Web and mobile world where machine logic does the heavy lifting, speeding their requests and sending alerts on status or when people need to act,” said Wright. “At work, firms expect employees to manually push the services forward with email, wasting extra cycles on chasing work status and searching inboxes. Email itself is not the enemy. It’s a symptom of a broken process that waylays corporate productivity.”
3) Those companies with mostly manual services lag even farther behind.
4) Automation drove a 50 percent improvement in the workplace Service Experience Index, but mostly automated workplace services still contain a lot of manual work.
“If companies don’t transform the process behind the workplace service, it’s like buying a shiny, new car and hitching up a team of horses in front,” said Wright. “Automation can only go so far with a shoddy process. Just as consumer services companies have purpose-built their services, so must the workplace.”
This gap can be closed. Companies can close the gap between consumer service experiences and the workplace by focusing on streamlining the process, injecting automation and creating a frontend that delights the user. Here’s an outline of the steps they can take:
By adopting service management software and practices, organizations can transform the employee experience, making it as easy and enjoyable to get work done at the office as it is at home.
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