Digital convenience for employees is underestimated, despite the fact that even customer will appreciate investment in it

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Companies are investing heavily into customer experience in their digital channels. They count and test every click. In contrast, they often neglect their own employees, whose digital experience in internal systems can often border on frustrating. Yet this will ultimately affect customers and their willingness to do business.

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A standard customer journey scenario in an e-shop or online banking is usually tuned to the finest detail. Yet when a client visits a branch or contacts a call center, they are often met with a completely different experience. The employee handling the request has to switch between many systems, manually enter the same data into several forms, search for the right procedure and request advice from specialized colleagues.

A frustrated employee does not sell well

The customer journeys of many frontline specialists are inefficient, awkward, and unpleasant to use. A salesperson, broker, clerk, or banker transcribes data from one system to another, manually verifying and switching between dozens of applications and communication channels that are not interconnected.

It‘s no wonder that in this chaos of processes, people’s productivity declines, as does their satisfaction. They are annoyed, have a hard time focusing on their work, and their frustration is reflected in their relationship with the client. The client can easily sense that they are dealing with a disgruntled employee. Moreover, their visit takes longer than necessary, they have to wait in longer queues, and this is reflected in their own satisfaction with the company and product. Users are increasingly seeking non-personal online interaction, but if they do contact a staff member in person, they expect effective assistance.

Total experience

Oldrich Kotas, innovation architect at Trask, speaks about the increasingly used concept of Total Experience in this context: “Clients and employees form an interdependent, multilateral relationship. Their experience is reciprocal and they influence each other significantly. When an employee interacts poorly with their own company’s systems, the customer perceives it very clearly, even if only subconsciously.”

There is no fundamental difference in whether the customer communicates with the employee face to face, on the phone, or even on chat. Online frustration has no social brakes and the decision to end communication with a company is quicker and more impulsive.

The user experience of the customer and the employee is indirectly but clearly written through on the other side. The state and interconnectedness of internal systems or the order between them says a lot about the company’s overall environment and its processes. If an employee has to deal with chaos in their applications, the customer sees it as a message about the state of the company.


What is the solution in this situation? “Ideally, as an employee, I should be able to have the same experience across all channels as the customer,” says Oldrich Kotas. “As a client, I want an analogous customer journey on mobile, PC, and maybe even on WhatsApp or at the branch. As an employee, I should have the same option. What we call EX  - Employee Experience should be very close to the Customer Experience these days.”

If I want happy clients, I have to have happy employees, be it in the front office or the back office. The same recommendations and rules apply to them as to the clients. The problem is that most companies don’t yet realize this simple truth and invest little or nothing in the digital wellbeing of their employees.

A pebble triggers an avalanche

When a company starts thinking about its employees’ digital experience, it usually results in a number of positive changes. According to Oldrich Kotas, the experience from projects implemented by Trask shows that it is enough to build one effective digital channel to start a chain of changes in existing processes and channels. “Suddenly, employees no longer have to do a particular manual task,” explains Kotas; “In practice, for example, the back office no longer has to copy nationalities from the scan of an ID card, because the system can extract the photos automatically and pre-fill the data. The workload and volume of work has changed and the process has become faster for the customer too. The whole process has gradually been digitized further because it has proven to be highly advantageous,” he adds. Ultimately, the client will feel this as a positive change.

Why are we lagging in employee experience?

There are two main reasons why Czech companies have neglected employee UX.

  • The first is that every redesign costs money - and it is not customary to include employee efficiency in the business case. Companies don’t have a strategy based primarily on satisfied employees and often not even on satisfied clients. They say all sorts of nice things about them in corporate strategies, but they don’t do much for them in reality. It is only when employees start to fluctuate more that a quick solution is sought.
  • The second reason for slow development in this field is the natural resistance of both companies and their employees. A common, although somewhat proxy argument for rejecting innovation is that back office workers have been doing it their way forever and don’t want to change. Fear of not being able to handle the new system is natural for people, and any change causes fear. It is more often the reluctance of the management to change established rules, while the employees themselves would welcome greater convenience.
  • “We encounter two types of managers,” says Oldrich Kotas. “The first are progressive and happy that the changes will increase efficiency. They look forward to not having to email everything or press CTRL-C and CTRL-V thousands of times. But sometimes they lack the mandate to push through something major. The latter are in tow of the established rules and do not want to undergo the inconvenience of change. Fortunately, there are fewer and fewer of these.”

[.infobox][.infobox-heading]The important thing is to start[.infobox-heading]That said, the first real results of such thinking in a company often start a chain reaction. Many companies are self-centered and do not do things with people in mind. Most of the processes are separate and lack mutual links. However, the first change in the employee experience often becomes the basic piece of a puzzle, with pieces that had no place before gradually being added to the protruding and empty places. Trask has extensive experience in this field with its corporate clients. The rate of overall digitalization of the company then gradually increases and the more pieces are added, the more efficient the whole is. Ultimately, companies that have started to think about the employee experience in a new way are more successful than their competitors.[.infobox]


Oldrich Kotas
Head of Digital Channels, Trask
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