Why your frontline workers are critical to success
As the first point of contact between a business and its customers, frontline workers are critical to growth and success – yet too often, digital transformation efforts leave them behind.
According to research from Forbes, over 80% of executives believe that empowering frontline workers with effective digital tools and platforms has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and business growth. But still, half of executives report that the majority of their frontline workers do not have access to and cannot interact with digital technology platforms and devices – they are not digitally empowered.
These frontline workers are your customer service and sales representatives, your retail employees, your field service and quality assurance personnel, and more. They represent your brand and are often the first to experience and identify problems with how you’re servicing customers. There are two-billion of these workers worldwide, and empowering and engaging them through digital technology can be a significant source of competitive advantage.
Why the time is now for digital transformation to reach all levels of your organization
Historically, the nature of many frontline jobs limited the feasibility of computers and digital technology having a direct impact on their every day tasks. Mobile workers couldn’t be tied down to a computer, training non-technical employees to use the technology was too time consuming, and implementing the right solution was too costly.
But that has changed. Advancements in mobile and cloud technologies means workers on the go can take their devices and applications with them and remain connected to their workplace. Widespread everyday use of these technologies and the increase of “digital natives” in the workforce means more employees are adept at using digital technology and will experience a shorter learning-curve. And putting the right applications and infrastructure in place could be far less costly in a world where most (if not all) of your employees likely already have mobile devices, and if other facets of your business are already storing and sharing information digitally. For these reasons, digital empowerment of frontline workers is more feasible than ever. It’s time to unleash the potential of digital transformation for all workers.
There are three significant benefits of empowering frontline workers that your business can leverage to gain competitive advantage:
- Meet customer demands quicker, more accurately and efficiently with streamlined and automated processes
- Drive collaboration and engagement between frontline workers and other teams/departments
- Harness the valuable knowledge and information gathered by customer-facing employees
Here, we provide you with examples of how our clients have seen the results of empowering and engaging frontline workers with digital tools:
For Canada’s leading manufacturer of paper-based and tissue products, part of their quality control practices involve visiting customers to log critical feedback used to make alterations to improve their products. Empowering the field service/sales representatives with tablets, smartphones, the cloud, and a custom-built mobile-responsive quality assurance application, our client drastically cut down the time it takes to identify, log, store, and share customer feedback information. The application, with custom workflows, secure authentication and permissions, optimized search functions, pre-built forms that enforce adherence to best practices, and automatic cloud storage resulted in a faster turnaround time to resolve any issues and improve their product, inevitably leading to greater customer satisfaction. Furthermore, valuable information gathered in the field is now being logged more cleanly and effectively so the company can harness collective knowledge to make better decisions on where to improve moving forward. Read more.
The City of Whitehorse – capital to Canada’s Yukon Territory – prides themselves on providing an excellent living and working experience. A big part of this involves effectively addressing the demands, requests, and issues put forth by citizens. They partnered with us to implement a solution that could more quickly, efficiently, and accurately move information from these inquiries up the chain of command until it makes its way to council to be resolved. With an innovative solution that integrates with other IT systems at the municipality, service representatives at the City of Whitehorse are now empowered to do their jobs far more effectively and to collaborate with employees working in different stages of the issue resolution process, ultimately helping the organization better meet demands put forth by citizens. Read more.
FirstOntario Credit Union is all about their members, and as such, just about everything they do revolves around serving members to the best of their abilities and making their lives most convenient. The company believes “investing in people brings the highest returns”. Upon adopting Microsoft Office 365, the credit union partnered with MRS to implement a powerful intranet solution within their Office 365 environment, aimed at keeping all employees and members more engaged and on the same page with powerful features including document storage, workflow capabilities, and task management. Sales representatives at FirstOntario – combining the Office 365 applications with the powerful Microsoft Surface Pro tablet – mobilized processes to drive convenience and better experience for members. “We want to do what serves our members best and what makes their lives most convenient. One of the ways we can do that is by digitizing. It makes it easier to visit our members”, said Ken Gallagher, Manager of Outbound Sales at the credit union. By digitizing their member experience and empowering frontline workers with digital technology, FirstOntario has refined processes internally and driven collaboration throughout the organization, ultimately leading to a greater member experience and saving time drastically by automating repetitive tasks. Read more.
Frontline workers, to your customers, are the face of your brand and can be a significant source of competitive advantage. Are you empowering them to do their best work and to represent your company effectively?