Every business strives to deliver a great customer experience, but how much room exists for improvement? Surprisingly, employees see more room for improvement in customer service capabilities than managers do. By a factor of nearly three to one (43 percent to 17 percent), managers surveyed thought their organisations communicated well with customers through old and new channels such as text and email, whereas customer-facing employees, those on the front line dealing with customers first-hand, felt this was far from the case.
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In March 2013, Ricoh commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the importance and business impact of document and process support at the point of service. To explore this topic, Forrester Consulting conducted in-depth surveys with 250 global customer service strategy and operations decision-makers as well as 36 customer-facing individual contributors.
The study found that customer-facing workers are seen as a strong differentiator by companies coming out of recession. This is a big change - customer-facing employees have now become the target for investment and process improvement. The study surmises that without investment in new technologies and processes, organisations will be facing a new competitive landscape at a substantial disadvantage.
Front-line workers have the desire, but not always the means, to delight customers and drive revenue. Nearly 9 in 10 (89 percent) of customer-facing employees - e.g., bank clerks, call centre operators, nurses, bank managers and shop supervisors said there's a gap between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer expects.