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The Future of Workplace Communications


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The technology that businesses provide their employees plays an important role in workplace culture, and typically has a similar impact on happiness as perks like on-site meals and open spaces. Finding the right  balance is key.

While a variety of communications tools allow workers to find new ways to connect, they also decrease overall productivity. A distributed approach to technology across multiple different platforms can actually harm employees’ ability to stay engaged and contribute to a sense of app overload. In fact, more than two-thirds of workers waste up to 60 minutes at work simply navigating between apps and programs designed to facilitate communications.

Continuing to drive productivity and engagement in an era of distractions and fragmented communications is a challenge that companies need to overcome.

Taking care of employees enables them to take care of customers

As companies consider the right technologies  to empower employees, they have to fully understand how the solutions can also impact customers – who are inextricably connected to employees. In the words of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

In our recent research, 75 percent of employees fielding customer communications expressed support for a consistent experience across channels. Customers are increasingly using new digital channels to reach out to companies, like social media, SMS, video, and messaging apps. These are primary drivers of digital channel fragmentation, and adoption of these tools has grown over 60 percent in just the last two years.

Research from MIT Sloan reinforces the link between customers and employees: the enterprises with the best employee experience also have the best customer satisfaction rate – double the customer happiness in most cases. In that same vein, companies that excel in customer experience have 60 percent more engaged employees, on average.

A viable technology solution must support both.

A unified approach to employee and customer experiences

The data points to a clear need for companies to adopt digital transformation strategies that enable better communications. For employees, this means a single, unified platform that consolidates all of their modes of communications into a single seamless experience. Not only will this improve employee happiness, but a unified platform will also benefit the company in driving greater employee engagement and increased productivity.

For customers, companies must empower them to reach out through their preferred digital channel, necessitating a communications experience that is flexible and adaptable to customer needs. Getting this right will be critical, as customers have more choices today than ever before  and will not think twice before walking away after a bad customer service experience. A successful approach will pay significant dividends: happy and engaged customers buy more, promote more, and demonstrate greater loyalty.

A new world of communication tools have connected us in ways previous generations could not have imagined. When companies work with the right technology partner to meet the communications requirements of both employees and customers, employees are in control and empowered to support customers in the most efficient way, driving long-term satisfaction. It’s a win-win-win for companies, employees, and customers alike.

Originally published May 20, 2019, updated Jan 30, 2023

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