The traditional workplace has changed and looking forward, hybrid work or remote work models could become the norm for a select few companies. While these types of models have allowed employees better flexibility and time management in their daily schedule, it also creates a sense of disconnectivity from the in-office experience.
Remote work and even hybrid work do share plenty of advantages, and both employees and their employers are well aware of how these can drive meaningful impact on the business. But while it’s possible to blend both a digital and in-person workplace environment, customer engagement in these structures remains a greater challenge for some team managers and employers.
On the customer end, employees tend to have less of a “physical” experience and connection with their clients, or those they interact with.
There’s also the fact that customers, or potential customers making use of online messaging and chatbots on websites and applications can get frustrated by the lack of personal experience when having to resolve issues. Some 46% of consumers would much rather prefer communicating with a person instead of a chatbot or via messaging platforms.
But in the hyper-digital world, how can companies, and their employees, improve and adopt strategies that will assist and reform the customer experience in a digital workplace?
Customer Experience in the Digital Workplace
For any business owner, the customer is considered to be the most important person in their business. Other than their employees, who operate at the heart of everything, the consumer makes up a sizable portion of the business.
McKinsey’s research has found that the digital disruption in the workplace, and more so in direct-to-consumer businesses focuses on the speed and acceleration in the way information is communicated and exchanged between management, products, consumers, and the remainder of the business.
With the use of digital technology, companies can look to improve their communication channels and utilize tools that add value to the customer experience, while improving the customer journey.
Strategies can be vast and varied, depending on the target audience. Having a well-organized and functioning digital platform through which customers can link with your business is already a step ahead, but it should be directed at the right target audience, without missing sight of key consumer areas.
Employee Experience in the Digital Workplace
Leveraging various digital workplace tools, such as video conferencing, collaboration platforms, document management, time and project tracking, and productivity tools ensure that a team, alongside its digital workplace strategy, can complete tasks and effectively immerse themselves in complex challenges.
Through a myriad of tools and digital platforms, remote teams can collaborate in different ways, whether by text, mail, voice, or video calls. But these digital aspects have sometimes alienated the human experience and interaction. Although employees are still able to get their work done, they have limited physical interaction or contact with their peers.
From both a social and productive viewpoint, the digital workplace has raised concern over how remote teams can actively be engaged, regardless of the working model situation.
Looking at the abovementioned, we see how both the customer and employee experience in the digital workplace is crucial for various factors, but mainly those focused on communication, and information sharing.
8 Best Ways to Promote The Customer Experience in the Digital Workplace
The internet has made consumers research obsessed, and with so much information easily at their disposal, business owners should know that more than 80% of consumers research products and services online before actually purchasing them.
With customers already having so much leverage to work with, especially when it comes to their influence online, businesses and remote teams need to juggle a few balls at once to enhance that online experience and convert research into sales.
Onboarding is perhaps one of the most important processes, as it ensures that all customers are equipped with the basic how-to knowledge to interact with the digital workplace and tools set in place.
The various tools and protocols each business uses can differ, but as a remote-first company, it comes with a learning curve, for both employees and their clients,
Businesses should have a thorough understanding right from the start of how these tools can help them navigate the digital landscape. There should be designated features that can assist customers whether they require basic information or more elaborate guidance.
Digital Customer Experience Strategy
As omnichannel marketing techniques and tools have become more complex over the last few years, businesses should have a developed a dedicated digital customer experience strategy.
They need to ensure that the tools being used, from basic website analytics to social media marketing, are all part of the customer’s journey.
With these capabilities, businesses can have a better understanding of what their customers are expecting of them, and how in return they can adapt as their digital journey evolves.
Interactive Digital Tools
Social capital is a major component of any remote team, and implementing resources, and social apps within the current existing framework could ensure that employees can effectively communicate with their digital workplace.
Using interactive digital tools helps employees understand their customers’ needs. These tools can range from mapping the customer journey, to performing data analytics. Additionally, if there is room for further development, companies can integrate personalization tools and features that can in return effectively resolve client-specific needs.
These tools will enhance broader collaboration efforts on all parts, and improve the customer flow, as it puts them in direct contact with the products and services they need, and the solutions they require.
Utilize Analytical Data Points
The age of digital marketing and online business relations has given major traction to the evolution of data analytics. These digital features ensure that companies, whether they operate online or even in traditional brick-and-mortar locations, can better understand their client.
Analytical tools ensure that digital marketing efforts are effectively directed to the right target audience and improve performance insight. There’s also more room for remote teams to track audience behavior, and how their communication efforts can help increase return on investment or build more knowledge on retaining clients.
Data analytics are some of the most valuable metrics in any remote workplace. For companies looking to scale up their performance and marketplace influence, this is perhaps the best place to start. It gives insight into the broader market, and how target audiences are interacting with current online content and tools.
Ask some of the following questions:
- How are customers engaging with the business online?
- What performance indicators can help the business improve in the marketplace?
- Are these metrics scalable?
- Is there space for us to become more engaging online, either through marketing tactics or website messaging tools?
- How personalized are the analytical tools I have access to?
- Are there any improvements that I have missed that can be implemented?
With these questions, you will be able to establish a whole list of queries that can help you better understand how current target audience members engage with your business. At the same time, you can analyze how to make adjustments or improvements where necessary.
Establish a Feedback Loop
Considering the remote working environment, feedback is one of the most important aspects that help draw attention to a certain issue at hand, or where improvements can be made.
In the digital workplace where customers are at arm’s length, having an established feedback loop creates a space where clients know their queries are being answered.
The feedback loop not only helps customers feel more connected, but also informs them of any specific requirements to resolve issues, or what the solution might be.
It’s also important to consider that the feedback loop works to enable effective communication efforts between the outside and the inside. The business can see what customers desire more, and where the business can adapt to these sudden consumer changes.
Build Responsive Systems
Responsive systems, especially in the digital workplace can range from instant messaging and texts to emails and phone calls. And while a responsive system is crucial to the overall success of remote businesses, it may also seem intrusive from time to time.
Building a responsive system means that customers know when, where, and how to contact a support staff member or when someone will get in contact with them.
A responsive system should include different facets from the customer, and ensure that queries are resolved without having customers endure extended response times.
Research found that around 29% and 24% of customers, respectively, expect chatbots to be available 24/7 or receive a reply immediately.
This shows the importance of creating responsive systems in a digital workplace, even where human interaction is limited.
Remove Underutilized Technologies
While it’s possible to implement a myriad of digital systems and protocols, some of the technological and digital tools might not be required during the short and long term of the customer experience.
Removing underutilized tools helps customers use the tools they require to complete their queries as fast as possible without having to waste time.
Additionally, it helps to declutter the digital workplace, making it feel less intimidating for new customers and removing any digital hindrance that can have an impact on business and customer satisfaction.
Be More Open to Flexibilty
Lastly, perhaps something a lot of business owners overlook, is having flexibility in the digital workplace. It’s a bit strange to think that a remote business that already offers so much flexibility could be even more agile. But we mean looking at how technology is being utilized in the digital workplace to ensure and guarantee customer satisfaction.
Test out various software tools before making a final call. If you notice that a certain program or feature isn’t running as it should, make some adjustments, or completely remove it from the system.
Obtain feedback from customers on their experience. This can be through online surveys, a rating or grading system, or even by sending out performance emails after primary interaction.
There are a lot of different ways businesses can see what works for their clients and their needs. If tendencies start to change, and trends shift, make sure to include this in your strategy to ensure you can adapt accordingly.
The digital workplace is constantly changing, and dealing with remote clients and consumers is crucial to keep the business operating without any major hurdles. Businesses and their leaders must understand how their remote-first company should adjust according to an existing market of consumers who have only recently become more frequented with digital and online tools such as messaging and chatbots.
While it’s possible to make use of various digital workplace strategies, these and other aspects should align with customer requirements, enabling them to be satisfied, and engage and mitigate recurring issues within the business and the customer experience.
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