This past year sparked once unimaginable changes for all industries as they adapted to new modes of operations amidst the global pandemic. For a digital customer experience (CX) provider like TELUS International, which typically has many of its employees in brick-and-mortar facilities, it meant rapidly transitioning entire workforces into virtual environments. By leveraging next-gen technologies and digital and cloud platforms, not only did we rise to this challenge, but we did so in ways that have better positioned us for the future.
As CX leaders think about how their workforces will be able to continue thriving in this sustained remote working environment, the pressure for them to provide customers with world-class digital experiences continues to grow. However, these great experiences aren’t solely for customers. They must also be considered for internal teams, since the employee experience and the customer experience are strongly correlated.
That’s why I believe it’s so important to incorporate next-gen technologies into your workplace – both in-person and virtually – that engage employees personally and professionally while enabling them to deliver the best outcomes and experiences for customers.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
Even before the digital revolution, great customer experiences began and ended with engaged employees. Team members need ongoing feedback, guidance and support from their managers to perform at their best. They also need cutting-edge tools and platforms to collaborate and connect with colleagues.
These days, we say team members are out of sight, but top of mind. Imagine how differently engagement—the active management of people and culture—must be considered to be effective in a virtual environment versus in a facility. Although the end result of digital is to simplify processes, digital transformations take time and often fail because leaders haven’t created the right foundational culture. In turn, employees fail to adopt it effectively.
It takes highly engaged employees to embrace change of any kind, but especially behavior and habit changes implicit in digital adoption.
How Digital Tools Help Us Hire and Engage Team Members
Keeping team members engaged means investing in them from day one, providing digital tools to save them time and set them up for sustained success. For instance, a recruitment bot can answer questions from candidates about what it’s like working at your company and provide next steps in the process, including facilitating interviews. Honing your digital recruitment efforts can significantly shorten recruiting time while keeping prospective employees engaged and excited about your company. You only have one chance to make a first impression!
Another use case is employee learning opportunities. Even if companies are experiencing a downturn in demand, deploying state-of-the-art digital learning platforms can help you reskill teams of existing employees to ready them for what’s ahead, and keep them employed and engaged. These types of digital learning platforms can also help reduce onboarding times by helping companies quickly train employees to support new brands, products and services to align with shifting client needs.
AI-driven bots have a variety of engaging uses in supporting employee success in their day-to-day roles, powering visual IVR systems and knowledge bases. Companies can also create bots with sentiment-based routing, built-in language translation, and proactive and context-aware responses to help employees do their jobs more effectively.
Using Technology to Drive a Better Employee Experience
When it comes to using technology to enable great digital experiences for both employees and customers, the pace of innovation has been exceptional. AI, bots and automation can help ensure that all employee engagement touchpoints, both big and small, online and in-person, are effortless, personalized, and seamless. Ensuring your team members are equipped with the correct tools for success ultimately results in a greater experience for clients.
Over the past year, we’ve partnered closely with all our clients to co-innovate and design customized digital solutions to meet their digital transformation needs. During these conversations, we’ve discussed and agreed that one of the most valuable lessons from 2020 is that delivering great digital CX to customers must be built upon a solid foundation of equally great employee experiences.