Why the Future of Your Business Depends on Recognition
What happens when your customers know more about your products or services than your sales force? Well, for one thing it puts your sales and marketing efforts at a disadvantage. More and more companies are finding that the traditional "sales funnel" has collapsed, leaving the marketing team scrambling to catch up.
In order to understand today's connected customer and deliver the personalized customer experience they seek, businesses need to find new ways to collect customer information, analyze this information and respond. Notice that there is a lot of "new" and "different" in this equation, which puts a lot of pressure on a workforce that is, for the most part, just going through the motions.
Customers want to feel that a company "gets them", understands their needs and knows how to deliver satisfaction. These are social issues, not technological, which means there is no SaaS "magic bullet" that can meet all of your customers' needs.
Instead you're going to need to reach deep inside your organization and improve a million moving parts all at once. Every employee is going to have to step up his or her game to find new ways to get things done faster, cheaper and with better collaboration. This is going to require a transformation that I believe can only happen when a company starts becoming focused on social transactions.
In order to have the business agility it will take to respond effectively to complex customer journeys, teams of workers will need to be able to make more intelligent decisions. The average worker is going to need to know if Task A is more important than Task B and whether or not Task C is worth putting in some discretionary effort to complete today. Traditionally it has been the role of management to set these priorities but today's management has their hands full with their own dilemmas.
That's why employee recognition is crucial. Instant peer-to-peer feedback is a necessity for driving smarter, more responsive teams. Business intelligence needs to be distributed throughout the organization and that can only happen when individuals are aware, informed and engaged. This is a culture change, not a technological solution.
Where software creates value is by managing these changes faster, better and with wider visibility than you could on your own. Think back to the early days of email - this technology didn't create a new way to communicate, it replaced the less efficient typewritten interoffice memo.
By highlighting employees' real time activities that drive business success, employees no longer have to wonder "is grinding this widget meaningful?" - they know for certain because of an acknowledgement about their contribution and its impact from a coworker downstream. Managers can work through employee reviews faster because there is more data available, collected by the system without having to resort to time-consuming task tracking or shoe-leather research and interviews.
Your customers are going to interact with your workforce at increasingly unpredictable touchpoints. And when they make contact with an eager, engaged individual, supported by a socially engaged and responsive team, you can be sure the experience is going to be positive.