Posts Tagged ‘employees’

Social Business Cornerstone: Omni-channel work environment for employees

Posted on: August 18th, 2013 by Fransgaard 1 Comment

I recently wrote a blog post about how Omni-channel starts with the employees’ mindsets.

However, as soon as employees start thinking omni-channel customer service, they will expect the tools and technology within the organisation to be able to keep up with them.

I’ve also previously covered the dangers of flooding employees with new technology. After all they have a day job to do and contrary to customers, employees don’t have a choice unless they want to take the radical step and resign… but equally lacking the right tools can be equally damaging to the effectiveness of an organisation.

So what does Omni-channel work environment look like?

1: Access to the Tool

Same(-ish) tools available through different devices.

Much like customers, employees need to be able to access their tools from whatever device: Their work computer, their mobile phone, their tablet, their home computer, even public computers.

However, unlike customers, employees face stricter security policies. But denying employees access to certain tools, without providing equal (or better) tool, prevents  them from Omni-tasking effectively and customers will notice how some parts of the experience simply does not live up to the promise.

2: Access to the Customer

Customer context available to all involved employees.

In an ideal world each customer would have their own dedicated employee to talk to, but for most customer relationships it is not cost effective. This shouldn’t prevent the customer’s history and context being handed over between employees.

The simple answer is to make sure any history is captured against the customer’s CRM profile and that the associated profile can be quickly surfaced when the customer contacts any customer-facing representative of the organisation.

3: Access in the Future

Reactive and adaptable framework.

The Internet and customer expectations changes fast. The technical environment need to listen to what customers want and be able to act on this fast.

What is a fully encompassing Omni-channel environment today, may well be inadequate in dealing with all channels available to the customers tomorrow.

…and to circle back to the employee mindset, this means that employees also need constant training in how to react to requests from new channels. This shouldn’t be a once-a-year occurrence, it should be as soon as required.

User Experience Design in a Social Enterprise Environment: External Influence & Employee Brands

Posted on: March 13th, 2012 by Fransgaard No Comments

The original version of this article can be seen at the award-winning Capgemini – Capping IT Off blog.

In the previous articles Connecting the Dots and A Consistent Experience I looked at a holistic view on the building blocks of the Social Enterprise and why it is important to deliver a consistent user experience and brand experience to employees.

In this article I will be looking at the Social Enterprise from the outside.

Influencing the champions within a social enterprise

We are moving to a future where the lines between work and personal lives are being blurred and as I covered in the previous article it is important that employees can represent the company and the brand correctly at any time whether they are at work or not.

The individual employee is representing a direct communication option to the company, an important fact for external marketeers. And the question becomes: “How can we give champions of our products and brands the tools to spread the word to their colleagues within the walls of the Social Enterprise?

Yam It or Chatter This

Creating the ability to for people to share to their social enterprise environment from the public web is one way to go. Granted it is possible for an employee to copy and paste the link into the corporate interface, but this is where the history of user experience design can be beneficial:

For a long time user experience designers where arguing back and forth whether having a print button or a bookmark button on a website was beneficial or clutter. After all it duplicates standard browser functionalities available (sort of) to the users.

But it became clear the argument was missing the point. The question was not whether the buttons duplicates a function or not; The question was: Do the buttons make it easier and are they more inviting for the users?

I suspect the answer played a part in the success of Facebook ‘Like’ and “Tweet this” buttons that social media brought to us: It makes it easy. I think it is reasonable to assume that similar options for sharing from the public web to the Social Enterprise will prove effective for the same reasons.

Technically sharable documents

I am not going to discuss the value of quality content as there are loads of good articles on the subject. Instead I would like to direct your attention to the delivery mechanisms.

In a consumer environment some delivery tools are better than others (horrible flippy pages anyone?) but for most part all can be viewed by the target audience if they wanted.

However, it may not be as straight forward for users on a corporate network. Your target organisation may still make use of older browsers or restrict access to plugins such as Flash and Java. Make sure any content work in older versions of browsers/ file readers and don’t rely on any plugins to be installed.

Employee Brands

To finished off this series of articles on User Experience Design in a Social Enterprise Environment I want to highlight a new and exiting concept called “Employee Brands”.

The Social Enterprise supports a more flat corporate structure. Due to the collective ownership of content and responsibility more power is in the hands of the employees and some individuals are better at handling, distributing and manipulating the stream of information making them influencers within the Social Enterprise regardless of job title.

  • They become known sources of good information
  • They become known by name
  • They become Employee Brands

Connecting with these Employee Brands seems like a feasible way of reaching inside the Social Enterprise wall, but how can they be identified?

Employee brands have two facets: Their public profile, reach and influence which can be destilled from all the hints of the public facing web (Have many Twitter followers? How many Facebook likes on the last blog post? What’s their Klout score and Peer Index?).

The other facet is their profile, reach and influence within the Social Enterprise and here I fall short of an answer because I am not aware of any capabilities able to measure an employee’s personal influence or “brand power” within a Social Enterprise from the public web.

One way might be to use their public presence and how it relates to the public presence of fellow employees, but this is merely a shadow of their Social Enterprise presence and may prove misleading.

Another way might be using what traditional account management and PR has taught us: Get to know the employees. Engage with them in the public social channels. Start conversations and use the information gathered to create a picture of the brand value of the employees.

I agree; The concept of Employee Brands is difficult to gauge, but looking at how the power of communication and information is spreading throughout organisations I think it is a concept well worth exploring.

What are your thoughts on influencing the Social Enterprise?

How to support your self-appointed social media evangelists

Posted on: April 26th, 2011 by Fransgaard No Comments

The original version of this article can be seen at the Capgemini – Capping IT Off blog.

2002: The digital world is recovering from the dot-com crash and Friendster emerges as one of the first social media networks closely followed by Linkedin and MySpace.

Since then many companies have faced problems caused by social media from unfortunate messages posted on branded channels to potential loss of revenue due to Facebook usage and we all learned the word: “Damage Control”.

One of the lessons learned was to create corporate guidelines for social media to help employees behave correctly in social media channels. An important lesson as a single negative comment in the social sphere can cost 30 customers.

The issue of employees using corporate social media channels badly/wrongly has been addressed… but what about the other way around? How do you support employees who want to use their own social media profiles to bring a positive view on your organisation?

With social media all your employees are potentially sales staff

If you notice one of your employees in a bar talking loudly and favourably about your products I am sure you would step out of the way to give her credit for this and make sure she knows about all the company’s other great products for future reference.

But how do you support those employees who uses their own social networks to promote your products online? Are you even aware they are doing this?

Imagine creating a marketing strategy that involves traditional marketing, digital marketing, maybe even social marketing. Then add an internal communication initiative with guides to how your employee can help support the campaign:

  • Align marketing messages but keep individual tone of voice.
  • Access to exclusive content/leaked information.
  • Allow them to share discount codes and see them go viral.
  • Engage them in gamification elements and let them “play” with your customers.

I’ve heard people say “because of social media we all work in PR no matter our job role” which in itself is valuable. But aligning brand messages and educating your staff how to take any interest in your products further can bring real revenue through real sales opportunities.

And remember…

Employees must feel comfortable using their own personal social networks to promote your services. They have to fully believe in the products as they personally vouch for everything they post to their friends.

Recognising the employees who do voluntarily promote your products is important. They are putting their personal profile on the line doing the company a favour. But avoid alienating those employees who do not feel inclined to do so, whether they do not want to use their own social connections or simply do not use social media.

Above all, do not have a written or unwritten requirement that employees must use the own social networks to promote the services of your company. Our social networks are part of the fine eco-systems that are our lives and deserves respect.