When thinking about ideal digital experiences, it’s really the forethought put into the experience that makes it seamless. But where should organizations start?
By beginning with a top-down approach and then working to make incremental change, digital transformation can catch on in an organization and get others excited for possibilities, says Dave Singer, VP of Go-To-Market Strategy at Verint
Verint is a customer engagement company and a sponsor of Simpler Media Group’s recent Digital Experience Summit. To follow up on its session, SMG spoke with Dave about Verint’s One Workforce approach, creating seamless digital experiences, and his advice around digital transformations.
Consistency Is Key
Simpler Media Group: What makes an “ideal” digital workforce experience? How does that differ from what most organizations are doing, and how can those gaps be filled?
Dave Singer: I think about the digital workforce experience from two dimensions. What is the experience of the digital workforce and what experience does the digital workforce deliver to the customer?
The headline of it is that from both perspectives, it’s very similar. The ideal experience is consistent and simple. You should have the same experience, the same low level of effort, whether your digital interaction is a chat or an email or social message or video chat. For the customer it should be the same and for the employee.
When you do that, you also want to layer in reliable, continuous experience data from both the feedback from the customers and the employees to understand if that experience is really consistent, is it really simple. And maybe it’s consistent and simple and terrible. I think what is still being missed most often is that continuous, real-time feedback: both sides need to continuously improve that experience.
When we think about designing the digital workforce experience, starting from that point of view of experience measure and closed loop. What people are missing most of the time is filling that gap and building it into design and thinking about gathering feedback in a way that is intrinsic to the way people are communicating. Not everything is a survey delivered after the fact.
The Right Tools at the Right Time
SMG: Your organization has a One Workforce approach. Can you share what this entails and how it affects the customer?
Singer: One Workforce is often seen as enterprise workforce management. Let’s forecast and share resources from front office to back office, to branch, to store. That’s a really important part of it.
What we think about differently is that it becomes your base to build on. And the question is what happens after the schedule? We can forecast and schedule now that everybody is working from home and has unlimited bandwidth, but how do you make sure someone can handle that call?
With engaging workforce administration, when you get that interaction delivered to you, it’s delivered with all the context and same history and everything you need so you’re not asking the same questions. You’re going to have access to the same automating and contextual real-time knowledge so that you don’t have to remember your training from six months ago. We’re going to have real-time coaching and real-time guidance with an army of bots behind you watching the conversation happen and suggesting the answers you might need.
One Workforce means you’re expanding that outside of the contact center to the relevant workforce and you give them the tools, support, knowledge, and assistance so that anyone can be the right agent at the right time.
Incremental Digital Transformation
SMG: How can you make sure a digital transformation is a success? How do you make sure everyone involved is on board?
Singer: The main thing is to make sure it is a top-down approach and that you have buy-in from the beginning. You can’t push digital transformation from the ground up because there are too many pieces, there are too many moving parts.
You want to engage all the stakeholders upfront. Agree on what that looks like, agree on how that customer experience is going to be delivered, and start small. It’s not a big-bang approach. Digital transformation will never be over. It has been going on for the past decade. That’s OK. That’s a good thing. Pick low-hanging fruit. Find places you can start and then get some success and expand and grow from there.
We have one customer, a bank that started on a line of business and activity basis. They’d get one work in then move to the next and then move to the next. It got to the point where after the first few were done and we were showing them the CX improvements and simplicity improvements for their digital-first employees, that now is sort of pushing all the other areas to ask, “What can I do to get on the list? What can I do to be part of this program?”
Once you get to the point where your business is clamoring and begging to be included, that’s when you win. But it starts top-down, low-hanging fruit, improved CX drives success, and the expansion from there.
SMG: What are the biggest obstacles to creating and delivering on digital experience goals? How can companies leverage technology to help?
Singer: The biggest obstacle is not doing that thing I just described before. If you don’t start top down, then you’re going to run into blockers because trying to make this person and this person agree on what to do when their mutual boss doesn’t say go do that thing, it’s like brother and sister can’t agree if mom and dad don’t step in and say get it done. Politics is one obstacle and we alleviate that by starting top down.
The other obstacle, from a technology perspective, is silos. If chat is stuck over here and social is over here and voice over here, you have to think organizationally top down and technologically bottom up, if you don’t have common repositories and common tools and common CX feedback and common visualization, it’s really hard to make it consistent.
Start with your technology layer approach with no silos. Everything must work together. All data must be shared. And as you add things in and expand programs, it’s going to work where people are already working. You’re not learning new tools every time. It builds that consistent, simple experience.
SMG: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Singer: I get to brag for a minute. I’ve continued to train in karate. Recently, I stepped in the ring for my first tournament in over five years and was competing with people up to 20 years younger than me.
I had a lot of fun. I learned a couple of things: I learned that competitors who didn’t take 50 years off of their training — like I did — tend to be better. I learned that fighters who are 20 years younger than me tend to be stronger and faster than I am. And I learned that next time I’m asked for an exhibition fight with a grand champion, it’s probably going to hurt more than I expected. It’s just fun.
Watch Verint’s Digital Experience Summit session on demand here.