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Voice of the Employee

Economic performance at enterprises across Europe could slump as workers struggle to find time to focus on customer experience and other key tasks.

New research from  Ricoh Europe polled 952 European office workers at firms with more than 1,000 employees. It found that one in five (22%) believe their company has lost revenue during the pandemic as a direct result of poor customer experience. This is despite the best efforts of the workforce, which is working longer hours than when the pandemic started.

Nearly a third (31%) say they don’t have enough time to focus on work that delivers the most value to their company. On top of that, the proportion of workers feeling the pressure to be online outside of business hours has increased by 38% since last April.

Enterprises have invested in platforms to try help ease the workload, but it’s not always had the desired effect – two in five employees (39%) say the new tools have actually increased the amount of work they have to do.

Looking at an average day, enterprise workers spend almost a third (32%) of their day on administration and internal communication. This is double the amount of time they spend on work that will benefit and deliver a great experience to their customers (16%). Almost half (48%) admit they are unproductive due to admin heavy days.

Employees feel that automation could help them improve customer experience and deliver results for their organisation. Half (49%) say they would deliver more value to customers if they were supported by tools that automate administrative tasks.  Additionally, 58% of employees believe their company could boost productivity and profitability if they introduced new technologies that improve how they engage with customers.

David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “In a crowded and competitive marketplace, customer experience can quite literally make or break a company. Internal processes and administration are important, but businesses can’t lose sight of why they exist in the first place – to deliver a product or service to the market. Employers need to empower their teams to work smarter so they can focus on delivering higher-value work. Technology has a critical role to play in helping companies do this. What’s interesting about this research is that the appetite for automation amongst the workforce is increasing – this is a stark contrast to just a few years ago when AI and automation was greeted with fear and scepticism. However, it’s not as simple as buying into the first platform or automation solution that comes your way. Any investment must be tailored to an organisation’s needs and support employees where they need it most.”

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