Let’s face it: when it comes to Digital Experience monitoring, the customer is always the first thing organizations focus on. They are the ones who give the organization their reason to exist, and their satisfaction determines the organization’s future. The link between revenue and good Customer Experience is obvious, so it’s a hot topic of interest and often the top priority – as it probably should be. But what most organizations don’t realize is there is another completely different type of customer that is almost as important: the workforce. Customers buy stuff, and your workers provide that stuff. While seldom the focus, employees are just as important to the health and success of any organization. And they expect exactly the same kind of digital experience as the customers they serve, according to a recent study from Forrester Consulting:
Over the last few years, this has become a lot harder to ensure as workforces have become more geographically distributed along with the digital services they require. Your employees are all over the world, connecting to your systems via a plethora of constantly changing methods and trying to access services that are themselves somewhere in the cloud and beyond your control. If any part of the complex web of interconnections we call the internet has poor or disrupted service, your customers leave. If your workforce experiences the same issues while trying to serve those customers, they are impacted in almost exactly the same way.
Yes, customer churn has an immediate and obvious effect. But neglecting your workforce’s digital experience can have a similar (if slower) effect. Neglecting workforce experience can result in a variety of expensive issues, including:
Low Productivity – if they can’t connect, they can’t work. It’s that simple. If your salespeople have to wait several minutes for Salesforce to load, they’re losing valuable time they could be using to sell (to say nothing of the knock-on effect if a customer is waiting for that information as well). The same goes for everything from trying to access your website to trying to use collaboration tools like Teams or Zoom.
Low Morale – no matter how dedicated and enthusiastic the worker, constant delays and outages are going to wear them down. When it’s hard to get anything done because you can’t get access to the tool you need, motivation plummets. Even if your employees share your company vision and goals, those goals become harder to push for when work is an unending series of micro-issues and friction. Everyone is familiar with the hassle of trying to join a Teams or Zoom meeting and spending the first few minutes trying to get everyone’s video and audio working. When that keeps happening, people start resenting meetings and dreading going to work.
Spillover to Customers – a long-understood business truism is that employee satisfaction (ESAT) directly impacts customer satisfaction (CSAT). In fact, CSAT requires ESAT. If your workers aren’t happy, eventually, your customers aren’t going to be either. Even if they’re getting the goods and services they’re paying for, they know when the people supporting them are miserable. And that dramatically reduces the effectiveness of any investments in customer experience.
Employee Churn – customer churn is well understood, but smart organizations also look to mitigate employee churn. In this volatile environment your workers are going to look for greener pastures if your organization is difficult to work in. And when you consider that the cost of replacing an employee can add up to 2x their annual salary, that’s an expense to be avoided at all costs – not to mention the impact on the customers that the employee was supporting while you try to recruit and train a replacement.
Note that in that same Forrester Consulting study referenced above, surveyed eCommerce decision makers agreed that:
“(Internet) disruptions also damage companies internally by increasing employee churn (55%) and reducing workforce productivity (49%).”
And this is from a study investigating the impact of network issues on customer experience. It’s clear that when business leaders look to improve the experience of their customers, their employees play a big role.
Fortunately, there’s a solution that can dramatically improve both customer and workforce experience: Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM). This is the ability to monitor the entire Internet Stack (the complex, constantly changing web of interconnected services, systems and protocols that make up the Internet) to comprehensively understand the source of Internet issues and either resolve them quickly or deal with them proactively before they impact users.
Again, per the Forrester study:
When we asked e-commerce leaders in consumer product goods and retail what impact this would have at their company, we found the benefit of investing in robust IPM is staggering. Notably, every respondent told us it would have a positive impact on their business, and 75% said that benefit would have a “Large impact” or “Significant impact.”
However, that same survey found that IPM generally isn’t being deployed: only 29% of those surveyed are monitoring their full Internet Stack. And when it is deployed, it’s generally focused on customers first. This is ironic because monitoring workforce experience is much easier than monitoring your customer’s experience. You can’t ask your customers to let you view every step of their experience through the Internet Stack, but you CAN require your employees to let you do exactly that. A properly deployed IPM solution will ALWAYS be able to monitor your employees far more effectively than your customers, if only because you always know where your employees are and how they’re accessing your systems. Customers are far less consistent.
Business leaders understand that IPM can provide a comprehensive solution that can address user experience both internally and externally. Note that increasing workforce productivity is cited as the third most essential benefit organizations expect to realize when implementing IPM – right behind improved customer experience:
Note also that monitoring workforce experience is in the top four most wanted features requested to mitigate internet disruptions:
It’s clear that ensuring a positive customer experience depends heavily on being able to monitor the experience of the workforce serving those customers. And that you can achieve both goals with a comprehensive IPM solution like Catchpoint. Catchpoint is the Internet Resilience Company, and its Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) platform provides observability into every part of the Internet Stack. This means that when there are issues with any system – even 3rd-party ones you don’t control – you can identify them quickly and resolve them before they impact your users – regardless of whether those users are customers or employees.
One key advantage Catchpoint provides is the world’s largest, independent, and most reliable global observability network. With over 2400 nodes in 89 countries, this network ensures you can monitor from your users’ point of view no matter where they are. Catchpoint is also cloud independent, while other solutions are hosted on the public cloud. If those clouds are down, then that solution is down. Catchpoint provides a more comprehensive, independent observability solution with far more options for interoperability, integration, and customizability. In short, Catchpoint makes it easy to find and fix issues fast. The result is a better digital experience for everyone, higher customer satisfaction, higher worker productivity and more revenue.