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It's Time to Rethink Your Digital Transformation Priorities


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It has been estimated that in 2019, over $1.2 trillion will be spent on digital transformation initiatives. For teams tasked with driving digital transformation, customer experience (CX) is often viewed as the primary driver for change. Improving customer experience is critical to business growth, but what about the experience of the teams tasked with supporting customers?

While businesses look to digital technologies to solve customer problems, driving employee engagement is often relegated to perks like gym memberships, break room snacks, free lunches, and the other vestiges of a modern workplace. While these are definitely nice-to-have, are they really improving the day to day challenges employees face throughout the workday in their objective of supporting customers?

We posed this and related questions to over 2,000 customer-facing employees in the US, UK, and Australia. The results were published in a recent ebook, “Overcoming the Digital Age Disconnect,” and, among other critical points, highlights the misalignment between what businesses think employees want and what employees actually want.   

Technology is a key driver of employee experience

Seventy-six percent of those polled showed that digital transformation initiatives often prioritize customer experience at the expense of employee experience. The result is that poor employee experiences remain largely untouched. For example, 75 percent of employees reported that poor communications tools were a hindrance to their productivity, leaving them frustrated and often unable to best support customers. Ineffective technology also often leads to employees being rude to coworkers, families, and customers. If employees are taking out their angst on customers, that can lead to an even poorer customer experience, which ultimately impacts the company’s bottom line.

Today’s tech savvy workforce has a higher expectation for what communications tools are needed to get the job done and they are willing to look elsewhere to get what they need. 1 in 5 millennials and Gen Z workers went so far as to say that frustration with inadequate technology was enough of a reason to look for a new job.

Making the most of your digital transformation spend

Prioritizing employee experience also enhances customer experience. Of the employees polled, a striking 92 percent said having a single communications platform would improve both employee and customer experience. The ability to effortlessly navigate between various customer channels while also seamlessly collaborating with coworkers has a direct impact on their productivity and even their desire to stay at a job. In fact, 83% said they would stay longer in their job if they had the right platform.

A consideration of the cause and effect result of employee experience on customer experience highlights a need for businesses to approach both as an equal priority. It is critical to enable effective collaboration in the workplace that brings out the best in the employee to employee as well as employee to customer interactions. And by capitalizing on both, businesses will gain a competitive edge over others simply focused on the later.


Originally published Jun 10, 2019, updated Aug 11, 2020

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