Tammi was very stressed at work.
She manages customer service in a U.S. state government agency that receives high foot traffic. Up to 300 customers have visited in a single day. And, if they don’t receive the services they need, they might not make the rent payment or be able to put food on the dinner table. The stakes are high.
Customers would come in and sit in the rows of chairs lined up, waiting, sometimes for hours, to get the assistance they need from the agents that Tammi manages. Frustrations ran high both behind and in front of the service desks. But, what if the agency employees could serve their customers faster and with greater empathy? What if they could do a better job?
Those are the questions that Tammi began asking, as well as her organization’s leadership.
That’s when the agency introduced a new customer service management (CSM) system that enables customers to submit information through multiple channels, including phone, email, text, web form and in-office kiosks. The system also generates data that managers use to measure service quality at different stages in the benefit application process. Automated software captures customer information, so caseworkers know more about the customer’s needs when they begin an interview. The program also directs them to the most appropriate caseworker.
Now, agents know customers by name, not just by case number, and wait times have been cut to just 16 minutes.
Introducing digital workflows into the agency did come with some challenges. For example, some customers have no experience with computers and must be taught basic computer skills, like using a mouse or entering personal information on screen. But the end result has been worth the process. The new system helps Tammi’s team deliver better customer service.
“We have customers now come and say, ‘Wow, I was here a year ago, I was here two years ago, and it’s not the same place,’ and that is just the best thing I hear every day,” said Tammi.
ServiceNow conducted an ethnographic investigation at two different organizations, a healthcare system in Australasia and a state government agency in the U.S. to better understand how digital workflows make employees feel at work. Researchers interviewed about 20 employees in different roles and levels, shadowed them at work, and spent time with them at home. The evidence was overwhelming: digital workflows can deliver reduced stress, greater flexibility, increased confidence and pride in work for employees.
Work becomes better.
Read more in the latest issue of Workflow Quarterly.