Happiness means money

It’s our slogan and I mean it. Even though in life money doesn’t buy happiness, in enterprise world happiness correlates into productivity which translates into money. And I’m not just saying this as “I feel like” it means money, I’m saying it based on 350.000 employees opinions that we continuously gather at HappySignals.

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By Pasi Nikkanen
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It’s our slogan and I mean it. Even though in life money doesn’t buy happiness, in enterprise world happiness correlates into productivity which translates into money. And I’m not just saying this as “I feel like” it means money, I’m saying it based on 350.000 employees opinions that we continuously gather at HappySignals.

As some of you already know, HappySignals provides an independent benchmark on Service Management employee experience, called Happiness Score. Our customers are large global enterprises and we are measuring around 350.000 employees experiences in managed services, mostly in IT, but also in HR, Finance and Business services. We ask employees to rate their service experience, but also how much of their time was lost during the service request.

The average lost worktime currently around 3 hours per ticket, but as you can see in Figure 1, worst companies have double that. When you consider that 10.000 employee company might have 80.000 tickets annually, the hours start to add up.

One of the interesting things discovered is how happiness correlates into increased productivity. Based on Happiness Score figures, there is a gap of 4,5 hours per ticket with the company that has happy employees and then ones who have unhappy employees. This means that of course you can never remove the lost productivity totally, but there is huge gains to be had if you are the bottom end.

Happiness means money

But what ever your number is, there is even more important message here. As you move away from SLA driven model and start to care about the lost productivity you should set yourself a target, let’s say 15 minutes per ticket to be saved next year. That 15 minutes per ticket would mean more in money, than the ticket price you pay to an outsourced vendor.

If you have your own internal service desk, it means you can prove your value to business stakeholders and explain why cutting costs on employee services is a bad idea. You can also make a business case on why you should use AI / Automation Engines to reduce the ticket volumes, since you can now put a price tag on each ticket that was never created in the first place.

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The Real Cost of Reassigning IT Service Desk Tickets

The IT service management (ITSM) and IT support communities are quite rightly increasingly focused on employee or customer experience. With more and more companies focused on IT strategies and targeted improvements that enhance the IT support experience. A key element of this is speed – getting end users to the right people and/or the right

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The IT service management (ITSM) and IT support communities are quite rightly increasingly focused on employee or customer experience. With more and more companies focused on IT strategies and targeted improvements that enhance the IT support experience.

A key element of this is speed – getting end users to the right people and/or the right information such that their immediate need for assistance can be met; whether this is related to an issue or a request, including requests for information.

IT-support ping-pong

Scenarios where employees are passed from service desk agent to service desk agent – as they patiently, or not so patiently, wait – are increasingly viewed as providing a poor employee experience. You know the type, the “Please hold, while I transfer you to a colleague who can help…” plus that it can often be a time-consuming and frustrating journey for the end user.

After all, no one likes to “ping-pong” between different people, having to wait on hold, perhaps having to re-explain the issue again and again, and maybe even having different people trying to apply the same unsuccessful solution.

It’s not great for the employee, and perhaps also less-than-great for the IT support personnel involved. But the really important impact, and cost, of this ping-ponging is at a business level – because the passing of tickets, and employees, between people, groups, and even companies can also be financially expensive.

But let’s start with understanding the true impact of ticket reassignment on the employee experience.

Understanding the employee “happiness” impact of bounced tickets

The data in Table 1 below shows the levels of employee happiness, relative to ticket assignment, based on 10,000 feedbacks from multiple companies.

Up to now, people might have assumed that the “bouncing” of tickets, and people, adversely affects the employee experience (and employee happiness); but this data shows that it does and, importantly, it shows the magnitude of the drop-off in happiness with each bounce.

The Real Cost of Reassigning IT Service Desk Tickets

Table 1: Employee Happiness by Reassignment Count

Of course, not all reassignments significantly impact the employee. For instance, a ticket might move between two IT support agents, or out to a third-party support team and back again, “out of sight” of the affected employee. But this doesn’t detract from the above data – because if this was taken into account the happiness-by-reassignment-count would potentially be worse, i.e. because some “invisible” bounces might have minimal employee impact.

Understanding the business impact of bounced tickets

Hopefully, the above data has furrowed your brow a little. But when you view the same data from a lost-productivity perspective, the alarm bells should really start to go off.

Table 2 shows the lost employee work time by reassignment count as reported in 38% of the feedbacks shown in Table 1, i.e. those that recorded the data. Please note that while the volumes are different due to the number of employees who have responded to the “lost work time” question, the percentage of responses in each count match closely.

The Real Cost of Reassigning IT Service Desk Tickets

Table 2: Lost Work Time by Reassignment Count

The table shows that each bounce not only delays the solution, which might be far more than the above if viewed as elapsed time, more importantly the affected employee loses productivity – with more and more productivity lost as the number of bounces increases.

Quantifying the business cost of bounced tickets

In an ideal world, there will be a minimum of ticket bounces, with the first service desk agent “on deck” able to handle the ticket. However, it’s not always going to be possible and an over-zealous agent keeping an end-user on the phone, probably on hold, while they try to hit a first contact resolution (FCR) target isn’t doing the end user any favors in terms of their productivity (or, in fact, their own productivity for that matter).

But what if your service desk tried to significantly reduce the number of ticket bounces? For example, through better initial ticket distribution, recruitment practices (and the staff recruited), knowledge management, and second-touch resolution practices. This would potentially save the business money (as well as providing a better employee experience).

Think about it. It would save time and money on at least three levels:

  1. Service desk personnel time and potentially opportunity cost
  2. Employee lost productivity and frustration caused by this
  3. The potential business impact of lost employee productivity, for instance lost sales and the associated revenue (it’s the employee opportunity cost).

In can get very “fuzzy,” as to what an individual incident costs the business, so let’s keep it simple.

If an employee has an all-in cost to the business, so not just their pay, of GBP 50 or USD 65 per hour, then each ticket costs GBP 100 or USD 130 more, perhaps notionally, if it needs to be reassigned twice (due to the lost employee productivity).

Why “perhaps notionally”? It could be argued that the employee will work an additional two hours of “unpaid overtime” to overcome the effect of the lost productivity, rather than it being a true business cost. Or alternatively, the lost two hours might cost even more than the all-in employee cost in terms of the adverse effect on the business. As I said, it can be fuzzy math.

The cost of lost employee productivity might be very clear-cut for your company, or it might be somewhat fuzzy. Either way, please use our lost-productivity ROI calculator to start to understand what bounced tickets are costing your business. It’s the first step in reducing the drain ticket reassignment makes on your organisation.

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Employee Experience vs Customer Satisfaction: Why you need to know the difference

For many years, businesses have agonised over understanding and improving customer satisfaction. From ‘putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes’ to sending out 10 page annual surveys, it sometimes feels like we have tried everything.

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For many years, businesses have agonised over understanding and improving customer satisfaction. From ‘putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes’ to sending out 10 page annual surveys, it sometimes feels like we have tried everything. A concept we often come back to is ‘look after your employees and they will look after the customers’. It is an important concept, which has been proven time and time again to be true. However, for many leaders it feels like an overly ‘fluffy’ concept and one that is hard or impossible to collect substantial data or evidence around. In this article, we’ll start to put that right, help you to intimately understand how you can discuss this within your organisation and easily collect the supporting data you need to make it happen.

Definitions and misconceptions

There is a missing link to between customer satisfaction and employee experience for sure. This is most likely due to the popular understandings of each term being quite different from person to person and business to business. Customer satisfaction is well-established, however employee experience has a far less mature and shared understanding around. To us, employee experience is about how manage and improving how engaged employees are with each other, their workplace and their customers. Then harnessing this engagement in order to create positive change within a business. This could to some seem like an overly complex view; but the reality is that if we see it as anything simpler, we lose our ability to see people as our greatest asset in our organisations!

The ideas are often seen as an HR function; sending annual staff surveys, organising team building days, putting in place tools to track staff performance and so on. However, the most competitive businesses in today’s world, are the one who see employee experience as everyone’s job and empower all internally provided services to own their part in this. And with digital becoming the heartbeat of nearly every business, IT’s role in this is becoming far greater, if not essential!

Whether IT is a part of a shared service or provides a more independent service to its business, more and more requests for business services are coming through IT and this is a great opportunity for IT leaders to grab their part in managing employee experience by the horns and make an impact. Not only this, but IT can now start building a far more accurate and reliable picture of how the services they provide internally, directly impact the profitability of the business and the happiness of the end customer.

What can employee experience do for the business, which customer satisfaction cannot?

When it’s managed and realised, the business value created when teams such as IT take an active role in employee experience can have a highly positive impact on the business and the customer. Let’s take a look at some of the sorts of metrics and measures we can put around this and methods available to collect them.

Lost work time

…or if you are feeling more positive, ‘re-gained work time’! A key part of persons experience at work is feeling like they are being productive and purposeful with their time. IT has the ability to directly contribute towards this through measuring the impact of lost work time created by incidents and awaited changes. More and more IT teams are using ‘lost work time’ as a key metric to better understand how other metrics such as ‘time to resolution’ and ‘call wait time’ are making a positive or negative impact on their business and employees.

Happiness

It’s a simple one, but often overlooked as something too difficult or ‘fluffy’ to measure. But this doesn’t have to be the case and it is now something that is much easier to measure in real-time and thus a more relevant and manageable metric. Using tools such as HappySignals, to engage with employees on a daily basis to better understand how their relationship and work with IT is affecting their happiness at work, is a really powerful insight to have. Especially when you can break it up into other factors such as are customers that are support by phone vs email, or in UK vs USA happier or unhappier?

Channels

Just looking at how many tickets and requests come in via different channels isn’t going to give the insight you need these days to better manage employee experience. We need to look deeper at the quality of interaction different channels create and the effect they have on the employee’s productivity and happiness. Here is a snapshot of over 100,000 pieces of feedback we have collected this year from HappySignals on the success of different channels:

Employee Experience vs Customer Satisfaction: Why you need to know the difference

Profiles

When you start building up a better understanding of who your support around your business, what their unique needs are and how they like to interact with IT, you begin to see a number of trends. Across the 100,000+ pieces of feedback we have collected over the past few years, we have managed to pin this down pretty tightly to four key kinds of people, which we call ‘Supported’, ‘Doer’, ‘Trier’ and ‘Prioritiser’. Each profile has their own approach to engaging with IT, technical competency and perspective on what value IT is meant to create. Gathering data on your own organisation in order to understand what your landscape of user profiles looks like, gives you the insight you need to manage how you interact and engage with different parts of the business.

Employee Experience vs Customer Satisfaction: Why you need to know the difference

What’s next?

Would you like to start leveraging real-time insights like this in your business, become a driver for change and an important player in how your business manages employee experience?

We love working with businesses who care about the results better employee experience can create. You can get in touch with the team here in a jiffy or if you would like to take a look at our SaaS based employee experience platform, you can try it out for free today.


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11 Customer Satisfaction Tips for Service Desk Managers

Customer service and satisfaction is an important topic for many service desk managers. Technical support alone is no longer sufficient enough to fulfil the needs of the business or the expectations of the individuals you support. At Happy Signals, we’re lucky to work with lots of amazing service desks, so here’s are some top tips

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By Pasi Nikkanen
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Customer service and satisfaction is an important topic for many service desk managers. Technical support alone is no longer sufficient enough to fulfil the needs of the business or the expectations of the individuals you support. At Happy Signals, we’re lucky to work with lots of amazing service desks, so here’s are some top tips we have learned from them over the years.

1. Lead by example
If you want your team to act or react in certain way, get out there and show them. Put yourself on the front line of IT, even just for a morning, and demonstrate the sort of questions you’d like them to ask, the body language they should use and the levels of patience you want them to employ. People will learn a lot quicker by being shown instead of told.

2. Share knowledge
Your service desk agents can only adequately answer your customer questions when they actually know the answers! This means knowledge should be shared efficiently and effectively across the whole team, ensuring knowledge and answers are widely known or accessible enough for anyone to find. Knowledge management tools are one step in the right direction. However, you also need to come up with good ideas and practices that nurture a culture of knowledge sharing, collaborating over tickets and learning from one another. Simple activities like buddying up on complex tickets and openly discussing problem management cases across the team will go a long way towards achieving this.

3. Open channels, don’t close them
Customers hate being bounced around the service desk. They phone the service desk and are asked to email in… or they email in and are asked to complete a form. You get the idea. Sometimes this way of working seems very convenient for IT, however in reality it creates more problems than it solves. Commonly, this creates two big issues. Firstly, customers tend to give up trying to log a request because they don’t have the time or energy to follow a non-natural or familiar process, where ultimately the issue will go unreported. Secondly, many issues get logged as first time fixes when in reality they aren’t, it’s just that the customer has tried to contact you 2 or 3 times before successfully having their request logged and resolved. So by looking at your team and your service and understanding where the opportunities are to open up more channels will both benefit the success and happiness of the customer, and give you better visibility of your services.

4. Respond with intent
Whether you are responding to new tickets or updates in person or providing an automated response, a lack of commitment or conviction around the resolution can significantly impair the overall service experience. Customers and employees want to know that you have understood their issue and have registered it with logic and empathy. They also want to know how a quick resolution can be expected. For example; if you’re using automated replies, instead of using language like “We will respond to your request as soon as possible…” using something like “We have read your request and appreciate you’ll want this resolved quickly…” can make you come across more confident and committed in your services.

5. Stop closing ticket prematurely
Here is a quick and easy one. When times are tough and tickets won’t shift, Service Desks can quickly turn to closing tickets with a brief “user didn’t reply’ or “have asked customer to call if still a problem”. To the customer and other people in the business it looks lazy and their experience of working with IT starts to suffer. Instead, develop a triage style process that manages the lifecycle of sticky tickets or non-responsive users.

6. Ask for feedback
The act of going out into your business and asking for feedback on your service does two important things. Firstly, it gives you useful insights into to how to improve your services, and secondly it also starts to build up a perception of IT being an engaged and interested part of the organisation. Having IT more present in peoples day-to-day working lives will overtime build better working relationships, improve the responsiveness between both sides and create much greater service experiences for everyone involved.

7. Open the door
Many IT departments see people popping head round the door to ask for help as a hindrance. However, the best IT teams see it as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to engage, test your reactions and manage an interaction and experience with IT from start to finish. Whether it be the hot swap of a mouse or the beginnings of whole new project. Having a set of pre-designed expectations around how to respond to people as they walk through the door is key to managing service experience, even if it’s just working out how to turn people around in 60 seconds, so that they walk away with a confident next action.

8. Build ‘the brand’
The perception and reputation of IT services trumps your reports and metrics every time. If a customer is ‘unhappy’ with a service, no amount of data or analysis is going to change their mind. So alongside measuring the numbers, you need manage the brand too. Concepts such business relationship management (BRM) and service deliver start to give you the tools to do this. However, to have genuine success in this area, it is important to learn some of the basics of marketing, to actively engage with your customers face-to-face and to empower your service staff to really own the IT brand. The essential first step is get your service team talking regularly about how they believe people around the business view the IT services brand, then to allow them to bring ideas to life for improving that.

9. Focus on experience
Surprisingly, not many teams have a well formed and shared view of what ‘experience’ means to them. It’s a very easy word to throw around, but actually far more difficult to really understand. So before setting off on a big ‘customer experience’ push, create discussion and debate in the team about what that actually looks like. Ask questions such as:
• What does a good experience consist off?
• What skills does a team need to provide a great customer experience?
• When does a service experience start and finish?

10. Go off script
For years, service desks have been debating the need for scripts. There is certainly a time and place where tools such as scripts can be useful, especially when it comes to tasks such as very early stage trouble shooting or repetitive configuration work. However, the most important trick to learn is staff knowing when to follow the best practised laid out for them and when to improvise and create new ways of solving problems on the fly. Service Management hero Ivor MacFarlane, often refers to ‘Intelligent disobedience’ as a technique for coaching staff to know when and when not to go with what is taught as best practise. Essentially it come down to understanding the customer’s need enough to know whether the typical answer is going to get them what they want or if you need to create something bespoke or even counter intuitive to get the right result.

11. Reward team work
When teams work together to share knowledge, skills and experience, they ultimately create better and faster outcomes for their customers and fellow employees. However, traditionally we tend to measure individual performance before and over any form of collaborative performance, this is essentially because it is easier to manage and sometimes we steer away from things that seem difficult to measure! So the best way to do it is just recognise the behaviour that comes as a result of team work, such as discussing complex problems, sharing tickets and offering support pro-actively, then make sure that is celebrated and rewarded. This can be as simple as making a round of tea or coffee, or more elaborate like giving awards to the members of staff who offered the most help that week.

To find out more about how HappySignals can help you on you journey to improving customer and employee satisfaction, try out our software solution today or just check out more helpful content from our blog.

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Seven Super Quick Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience

We know employee and customer experience is important to you, we hear customers and friends tell us about their huge invested interested in providing better experience all the time. However, as often as we might have a conversation about the importance of experience, we have an equal number of more challenging conversations about how service managers and their teams can get started on making the changes and improvements they want to see.

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By Pasi Nikkanen
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We know employee and customer experience is important to you, we hear customers and friends tell us about their huge invested interested in providing better experience all the time. However, as often as we might have a conversation about the importance of experience, we have an equal number of more challenging conversations about how service managers and their teams can get started on making the changes and improvements they want to see.

If this sounds like you, here are seven extremely helpful activities and tricks you can try today to get started on the road to employee experience excellence!

1. Take a critical look at the experience data you’ve got

If you look hard enough, you will most likely find that you already have some form of feedback data collected from your employees or customers. So give yourself half a day and read those through it. You will quickly discover some trends which you can concentrate on. For example , if there a region or dpeartment that is not pleased or a specific service that is providing bad feedback, get stuck into imporving that.

We know this can be tricky to start, but try not to think back and try to explain the results – instead think what you must change for the employees benefit. And try not to think too much about the process in Service Desk, but more the experience, feeling, attitude and expectations of the employees.

2. Start listening to the stories people are telling about you

Perception is everything, so your important data will come from a range of sources, not just numbers and coloured boxes! Regardless of what you think of your team and how that looks in reports, how people see and discuss the quality of your service and your team will either validate or challenge what the rest of the business knows to be true. So go and listen to the stories, ask different levels of the service team what stories they hear and go direct to other employees and customers and ask them to tell you how it all goes down in ‘their reality’. Improving the service is one thing, but developing a set of plans and tactics to improve the stories people tell about you and your service is an extremely valuable achievement in itself. And when meeting employees don’t correct what they say or think, but instead focus on correcting the way you work or communicate these services.

3. Workshop something… anything!

The best ideas come from open discussion and conversation. They also usually come from a collaborative effort between different people, skills and experiences in the team. Try taking a team lunch or an hours break to bring together different members of the team and have them discuss the things that they would most like to see improve in service. It’s important to facilitate this discussion and keep it focussed on the outcome and experience delivered by the service. Not just what makes them complain a little less about their job! Once you feel like you’ve heard a few good ideas on problems and possible solutions, get the team to put forward some short term and achievable commitments on seeing some improvement in those areas. If you are brave enough to invite some normal (non IT) employees to the discussion, you’ll hopefully be suprised how much everybody will learn about the realities and perceptions of your services!

4. Just test an idea and see what happens

You can go on your gut with this stuff too. As the manager of a service you are likely to have a trusted sense and feel for what is working in your team and what is not. So step outside the day-to-day for an hour or so and consider some of the problems and blockers that might be more and more impairing the service experience you’re providing. It can be big or small, the important thing is that you know it to be real and you can implement a small scale change to test to try and improve things. It might be something simple like the words staff use to answer the phone, or the format of the email notifications requestors receive. Whatever it is know what it is you are expecting to see change in the employee or customer once it’s there and what you are going to do when you discover whether it was affective or not. The key thing is to just keep changing, checking, tweaking and improving.

5. Pick and problem and run with it

Talk to customers, staff and the service desk and find out what they big problems of the moment are. Once you are confident you have problem in mind worth solving, get round the table with your team and say “Okay guys, for next 6 weeks we’re going focus on really solving this issue”. Keep it positive and really focus on the momentum you need to see a genuine improvement. Allow the service team themselves to bring forward the actual improvement ideas and activities, and make yourself available to provide support and resources as and where they need them to make those changes. Keep checking in and feeding back on what’s starting to get better and what’s not. Remember it’s not always about success and failure, but just using what you’re learning to optimise your approach to improving over time.

6. Ask someone for feedback and then just work on it

Much like the concept of listening to the stories people are telling about you, get out on the office floor and start asking for anecdotes and opinions on what’s delivering a good experience and what’s not. From there either find a trend or an improvement opportunity that excites you and put a short term plan together to start bring up quality in that area, with the aim of improving the feedback you get from that person or group of people you get, the next time you speak with them. Again, this sort of service experience and engagement relies heavily of the perception of the service and so capabilities such as communication, visibility and availability will be hugely important for improvements like this.

7. Make improvement a part of the job

Last but not least, a more general approach can and probably should take, is to start featuring more service and experience improvement oriented tasks into team member’s objectives and KPIs. This can include anything from identifying areas for improvement, collecting better data on service experience, engaging with more parts of the business or running employee experience projects. Creating and encouraging a culture where the team want to focus on providing great experiences is a massive part of getting this right. However, for many teams it is a not a quick change and so gradual and iterative changes to goals and objectives over time is important to success.

 

When focusing on experience, always think about the balance between the service itself and how it is received and perceived by all those involved in each interaction. Then work backwards from there; understanding, tweaking and measuring every little improvement you make.

The people and the process is huge part of getting this right, but another important factor is the products and technology you use. At HappySignals, we specialise in developing brilliant employee experience software and helping service teams just like yours improve engagement, feedback and service experience. If you’d like to learn more, just check out our product pages here and try our free demo.

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DevOps thrives from Employee Experience Measurement

We are asked how HappySignals relates to DevOps and we see it very clearly. It could be the main input for development cycles. DevOps needs input somewhere and many times this input comes from IT developers, IT managers or some loud business stakeholders. None of these inputs actually focuses on better Employee Experience or increased

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We are asked how HappySignals relates to DevOps and we see it very clearly. It could be the main input for development cycles.

DevOps needs input somewhere and many times this input comes from IT developers, IT managers or some loud business stakeholders. None of these inputs actually focuses on better Employee Experience or increased productivity. We made this picture to visualise, that before you plan, you should have continuous analytics of the real struggles from the actual users of the system. Monitoring systems is of course needed, but is way too easy way out, system could be functioning but employees might hate it. Let's raise the bar.

DevOps needs Employee Experience Measurement

If you wonder if Employee Experience is related to DevOps, it is very closely. Otherwise you might lose focus on why you are developing next cycle and start building numerous small development releases that bring no actual value to users, but just add features that techies like to build.

Measuring the lost productivity from employees, like we do with Lost Worktime, allows you to justify the development costs of each development cycle/sprint/iteration.

Please see our case study from Tieto, Largest Nordic IT Company, how they use our solution to input their development cycles.

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Service Alert: Support portals are wasting employees worktime

During the last 6 months we have collected feedback from 100.000 employees about their service experience with IT support services. We asked employees to rate the service on a scale of 1-10, but even more importantly we also asked employees to estimate the time they lost because of this incident. Employee Happiness is not only

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During the last 6 months we have collected feedback from 100.000 employees about their service experience with IT support services. We asked employees to rate the service on a scale of 1-10, but even more importantly we also asked employees to estimate the time they lost because of this incident.

Employee Happiness is not only a soft value

The average happiness score from all our customers is +61 (calculated with formula similar to Net Promoter Score) and the average lost worktime is 2 hours 50 minutes. Already this is interesting because it means if a company has 10.000 tickets per year and the internal cost is 50€ the company is losing about 1,4M€ in productivity. But let’s see this as an opportunity - if the company could save just 30 minutes per ticket that would translate to a saving of 250.000€/year.

Comparing the experience of different channels

During the last weeks, we have been analysing the results. The most alerting discovery is the benchmark for channels and the unhappiness towards self-service portals.

This picture bellow is real data from about 100.000 incident tickets with feedback collected from about 40 organisations.  Most of this feedback is from large global enterprises.

ITSM Employee Experience Benchmark of Contact Channels

As you can see from the infographics above on average people who started from self-service portal, lost on average almost 2 hours more than they lost when using the good old telephone. But it is a bit unfair to compare phone and portal, because the issues employees want to handle on the phone are a bit different than they typically want to handle in a portal. But there is no excuse why email also is almost 1 hour more efficient than the portal!

What is wrong with portals?

Isn’t the portal supposed to be the modern way? Employees like to correct issues by themselves – right? 

According to these results most portals should be closed immediately, but let’s not be so quick to judge. ITSM professionals all know the benefits of portals: Possibilities for automation, assigning tickets directly to right groups, all mandatory information can be collected right away, etc.

But the problem with the earlier benefits is that all those are benefits for the process side. You should be asking yourself and your provider that what is the real benefit is for employees and whether that has been communicated that to them?

Four steps to become more employee centric?

After doing more than 500 employee interviews personally, I’m sure that those of us in Service Management need to improve in communicating the benefits of portals – and always for the benefits of employees not for benefits of IT processes.

  1. Marketing: Is there a clear reason for your employees to prefer and love your portal? What is the one slogan that you can use to market the portal? All services in one place? Fastest resolution because your issue is directly handled by an expert? Or just Finding the real expert? Combined ticket sending and fast resolutions? VIP lane to ServiceDesk?
  2. Terminology: Make sure you are not using IT or ITIL terminology like Knowledge Base, Service Catalog, Incidents, etc. Test the used terminology with regular employees, not with your IT colleagues.
  3. Employee Centric Design: Do the design with employees. It’s not a hard job, if you do it early enough. The hardest part in employee centric design is to really listen to what employees are saying and to let your personal ideas/opinions go. You are not building it to have the latest IT gizmos and to pump your ego, but to have it used by thousands of employees.
  4. Measure Employee Experience continuously and focus your development based on this data: Expectation of service changes with time, so even if users were happy with your portal a year ago, they have now gotten used to it and compare it to some consumer services they use outside of work. So you need to keep a continuous eye on employee experience development. With HappySignals you can be able to measure employee experience and understand when and why things are changing.

Benchmark information available to everybody

HappySignals has now launched this benchmark information openly to everybody, it’s updating daily and reflects feedback from the past 6 months. http://benchmark.happysignals.com/

Training about Service Portal design

HappySignals in the early days designed portals for enterprises. We don’t do that anymore, but we are arranging one-day training session about how to plan portals that would be the preferred channel from the employees point of view. The next sessions are in Finland May 4th and June 15th. You can book your seat from http://oppia.fi/

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EX=CX2, You Don't Have To Be Einstein...

As if by magic, the relationship between Employee Experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) is a hot topic within UK ITSM, seen as a tangible driving factor for continual service improvement amongst large organisations wishing to measure internal services management.

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By Pasi Nikkanen
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As if by magic, the relationship between Employee Experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) is a hot topic within UK ITSM, seen as a tangible driving factor for continual service improvement amongst large organisations wishing to measure internal services management.

Ultimately, employees represent the companies they work for so it’s not rocket science that proactive measurement of their satisfaction against internal services will, over time, filter down to the customers they serve, for better or worse.

Deck out the offices in soothing yellows, buy some plants, install an espresso machine, provide a table tennis table and hey presto, we have happy employees! If only it were so simple.

Our webinar last week to over 30 large enterprises, MSPs and SIs has created a buzz in terms of how important proper measurement of employee happiness has an impact not only on how companies perform, but accurately measures the financial impact of lost work time against internal services, pinpointing where improvements can be made and equally where successes are achieved.

The development and benchmarking of internal services assists the provider of those services, whether internal or outsourced, to work towards a common goal, allowing the support personnel to actively learn and improve from employee feedback.

We must learn from the consumer world how we utilise feedback and importantly how we can increase response rates. HappyNow is currently utilised by over 250,000 employees with the lowest company response rate 29% and the highest 65%. Research results show average UK employee response rates to satisfaction surveys lie between 10% and 25%. Why? It’s either too time consuming, too complicated or simply not worth doing. Nothing will be done with the metrics anyway. Sadly, this is all too true.

Accurately measuring meaningful employee experience metrics must surely be a central tenet to internal service integration and management and key to the continual service improvements we promise to customers.

Come and see us at Stand 1 at ITSM16, Sofitel Heathrow, November 21/22

To view our webinar please visit http://happynowltd.com/2016/11/03/coming-nov-3rd-webinar-employee-experience-as-driving-factor-for-service-improvement/

Our next webinar Motivating Service Agents to Create An Improved Employee Experience will be announced shortly.

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Employee Experience Report 2016, download now.

Our 2016 edition of employee experience report tells you how different companies perform according to our Employee Work Score benchmark. It also gives you insight into what employees value, how they divide into different types of users and we bust some myths. Download Employee Report

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report-coverOur 2016 edition of employee experience report tells you how different companies perform according to our Employee Work Score benchmark. It also gives you insight into what employees value, how they divide into different types of users and we bust some myths.

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Our Story, watch and learn.

Our CEO Sami Kallio explains our passion and focus.

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Our CEO Sami Kallio explains our passion and focus.

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Employee-driven Enterprise

Last year we started HappyNow to bring solutions to a very important and rising topic in the consumerization of Enterprise IT and the Happiness of IT department’s customers, the Employees. We all at HappyNow have long background in building internal services, like Self-Service Portals, Intranets, Enterprise Social Networks and other digitalized processes. All of us

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By Pasi Nikkanen
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Last year we started HappyNow to bring solutions to a very important and rising topic in the consumerization of Enterprise IT and the Happiness of IT department’s customers, the Employees. We all at HappyNow have long background in building internal services, like Self-Service Portals, Intranets, Enterprise Social Networks and other digitalized processes. All of us felt that how these things were measured and how the business cases were built around them, were still lagging compared to the consumer world. We set-out to change one of the most traditional parts, IT Service Management.

You get what you measure, as the old saying goes, has been very normal in the outsourced IT Service Desks. Service Level Agreements have been the norm for 1st level Service Desk personnel in the enterprise world, where as in the consumer world this has already changed into Net Promoter Score type of satisfaction/recommendation measurements. SLAs dictate that you need to respond, act and close (not solve) the issue in certain time constraints, this allows the buyer and the provider follow that they are getting what they pay for.

But are they?

TICKETS ARE CHEAP, EMPLOYEES ARE NOT

As the IT departments squeeze the prices for the Service Desk providers, they increase pressure to handle tickets quickly. Handling the tickets quickly means that you need to make compromises, and these typically might mean; cherry picking the easy tickets first, closing tickets without making sure everything was solved and being stressed if the conversation with the customer is starting to take too much time. But if the price of a ticket is let’s say 5€ and the hourly cost of your employee is 75€, then would it matter if you would pay 50% more per ticket but save 1h of hassle, frustration and unhappiness from the Employee. And this is underestimating the cost of a bad experience.

A bad customer service experience in the morning can ruin the productiveness of that Employee for the whole day. As Ariana Ayu in her article “The Enormous Cost of Unhappy Employees” writes, business owners know this, but they would be shocked to understand how high the cost actually is. These figures are missing from all the CIOs budgets and yearly plans as far as we have seen.

LET’S CHANGE THE APPROACH

That’s why we are introducing Employee Work Score™ (EWS) as a new approach for Service Management (ITSM, ESM) measurement. We agree that you still need the SLAs behind the SD contracts for now, but the driving factors for improving the service experience should be changed and that is what IT departments should be paying for.

EWS is built from four (4) different factors:

  1. Recommendation Index, which is the sentiment based evaluation for the service your Employee just received. Asked every time employee has an interaction with service personnel or with self-service product.
  2. Lost Working Time, is a soft value estimated by your Employees. What we are looking here is the trend, so lowering the amount of time that Employees need to spend of their time in problem or service request situations.
  3. Employee Profile, based on personas we have created for Support Service. Knowing your employees psyche, motivations and goals is the important step to truly understanding how you need to serve your Employees. Please signup for the newsletter and download the eBook to read more.
  4. Focus Factors, asking what was the main factor for the happiness or unhappiness. Very important so that you know where to focus your service improvement & development budget.

Having EWS as continuously running in your Service Management environment allows you to understand what is really happening with your Employees. This should not be once-per-year type of Customer Satisfaction Survey, since it’s too long period to actually make any significant improvements to your service. Our solution for this is HappyNow.

HAPPINESS WILL SPREAD

When you will bring happiness measurement into your Service Management, it will start to affect everybody involved. Employee naturally start to see that Service Agents are actually caring about their problems and not just trying to get rid of them. Service Desk Agents will get recognition from bringing happiness to their customers, even if their ticket was very difficult one and it violated their SLAs. Happy customers create happy service personnel, which increases the motivation to be even better at their job. Happiness is the #1 productivity booster as written by Alexander Kjerulf in his blog post “Top 10 Reasons why Happiness at Work is the Ultimate Productivity Booster”.

And if you just scrolled to the end, watch this short video to explain our approach.

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