Friday, 11 October 2019 00:09

Wasted time negatively impacts workplace productivity, customer service: survey Featured

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Wasted time negatively impacts workplace productivity, customer service: survey Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The quality of customer service delivered by Australian professionals is being impacted by an average of two hours of wasted time every week as they try to track down the right information internally they need to do their jobs, but despite this many professionals say that collaboration technology would help them do their job more efficiently.

That’s the key finding of a workplace productivity and knowledge management survey undertaken for cloud communication and collaboration provider 8x8 by Censuswide, which also showed that concentration of expertise among a few people inhibits productivity - while many employees said collaboration technology makes it possible for expert knowledge to be open to all staff at any time.

Eighty-two percent (82%of respondents said that this type of (collaboration) tech would help them do their job more efficiently, and with these types of tools in place, large organisations can ensure everyone has access to the right information exactly when they need it and that they can contact the right subject matter expert on any channel.

According to the survey the main reason productivity suffers is because:

  • 26% of people can’t find the information they need to do their jobs effectively on the systems they use
  • 16% aren’t able to locate the right expert internally
  • 26% are held back by information not being shared in a central place

Employees also say that a few experts within their organisation hold most of the information about the company (67%) but they can’t always contact them. This is impacting customer service teams in particular, with at least two different people required internally to get the right information to answer a single query.

According to 8x8, this means it takes the employees longer to answer customer queries (62%) and the quality of service falls (61%).

And the survey reveals that not being able to access the right information has impacted businesses in several ways:

  • Employees working longer hours to complete work – 44%
  • Slow resolution of problems – 38%
  • Inaccurate information used – 31%

The data was also analysed by age group and organisation size. When asked what channel they would respond most quickly to, millennial workers said email (27%), followed by phone (43%) and online chat (11%), but baby boomers preferred phone (77%) followed by email (37%).

Those in large organisations say the problem has gotten worse as they’ve grown. Over half of employees (55%) say that it has become more difficult to reach the right experts internally as the business has scaled.

Brendan Maree, 8x8 Vice President of Asia Pacific said: “Organisations are getting more complex with people often spread across many locations and time zones, making it harder for teams to collaborate, share, and learn from each other. In addition, in many instances a small portion of a company’s staff holds the majority of the expertise, which as this study shows, stands in the way of delivering excellent customer service.

“One solution is to use a single cloud communications platform, enabling teams and individuals to collaborate much more efficiently since all employees can access information faster - no matter what channel they use. This will also foster a culture of innovation which can have a tremendous impact on job satisfaction and loyalty.

“Empowered employees feel a greater sense of ownership over the level of service they provide. These improved rates of satisfaction and loyalty flow through to customers."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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