Why 2021 is the year every employee experience leader will embrace integrated service management.
2020 was a year for the record books in many ways:
- It changed our personal and social lives.
- It changed how we interact with colleagues and customers.
- It changed how employers and customers expect work to be delivered.
2021 will bring more of the same. We will travel less, work remotely, meet virtually, and continue to work differently. And in doing so, the new normal will simply become…normal.
Still, many organizations have yet to resolve the pressing employee experience questions of our times. Are the right processes in place for all their needs? Do we have the right tools and solutions to support these processes? How do we keep employees safe—in or out of the office?
In the many conversations I have with ServiceNow customers, the focus is often on optimizing service delivery cost and productivity. What goes overlooked is that optimizing services and employee experience goes hand in hand. When you design service delivery with the employee in mind, processes improve, costs go down, and the employee experience gets better.
Evolution of shared services
The origins of service delivery were decentralized, with many duplicate services, processes, and technologies.
Over time, organizations consolidated delivery into shared services and then into a multi-functional service delivery model managed in silos but with a common service management regime in place.
Today, pioneers of enterprise service delivery are pursuing digital employee experiences (digital EX) through integrated business services. This usually means introducing global service owners and an integrated delivery network, as well as a head of integrated business services who reports to the board.
To date most large enterprises have been functioning under a hybrid model—falling somewhere in between the fragmented beginnings of their service delivery efforts and the move toward multi-functional shared services.
This comes as no surprise, as there’s no way to jump from one phase to another overnight. It is a transformation journey and should be treated as such.
Self-service is the first step
In a traditional shared services model, the majority of the cases, questions, and requests are processed manually by service agents. Regardless of topic, even the most repetitive and routine issues are solved via phone, email, or employee walk ups.
The inefficiencies of this system sound a clarion call for the integration of employee services. Step one is the adoption of self-service capabilities.
When self-service is used to address these repetitive requests, it frees up the agent to focus on more complex issues. Add a chatbot to the mix, and you have a better, more productive experience for employees and agents alike.
Digital EX is next
New research from ESI ThoughtLab and ServiceNow shows that digitizing employee experience boosts productivity while slashing costs, leading to increased satisfaction for employees and customers. Inour global survey of more than 600 executives across five major industries (financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public sector, and telecom), 44% of companies cited increased employee productivity as a key benefit of digital EX, more than any other.
Adopting digital processes also had a cascade effect, improving both the customer experience (40%) and employee satisfaction (39%). These investments resulted in fewer customer complaints, coupled with less time and budget spent on manual tasks, leading to a happier, more productive workforce.
A platform makes it possible
One thing is for sure—you can’t deliver the experiences of the future using the tools of the past. This is where aligning people and processes across the enterprise on one platform comes in.
Delivering business services without the help of a unifying platform entails a ton of manual interaction and back-and-forth communication using a variety of disparate tools.
A single digital workflow platform can connect your organization in a way that is:
- Unified – Integrating operational and systemic silos
- Agile – Streamlining cross-functional business processes
- Intelligent – Using automation, machine learning, and AI to eliminate repetitive tasks and boost employee productivity
- Holistic – With visibility to manage the entire employee lifecycle
- Omni-channel – Delivering consistent experiences for all employees across all channels
With business processes across the enterprises integrated onto one platform, the entire operation can see dramatic improvements in both efficiency and productivity. Extraneous and outdated tools are rationalized or decommissioned. Costs associated with maintaining and servicing on-prem infrastructure disappears.
And employees—whether remote or on site—get the work experiences they expect from modern organizations. That’s why 2021 should be the year every company doubles down on delivering integrated business services to each corner of the enterprise.