A new report by MIT Technology Review Insights explores how global organisations are reassessing their customer experience (CX) workforce and processes in the post-pandemic era.
The report, Customer experience and the future of work, is produced in association with Genesys and is based on a survey of 800 senior executives as well as in-depth interviews with business executives and experts. The findings are as follows:
There is a ‘people paradox’ in relation to customer experience staff
Almost nine out of 10 survey respondents recognise CX as a strategic differentiator of their brand. However, the research also finds contradictory views about the employees who interact with customers on a daily basis: employers are more concerned with the challenge of finding new employees than retaining those they already have.
COVID-19 has catalysed a long-term shift toward flexible working for contact centre employees
According to the survey, the remote and hybrid working models rapidly deployed during the pandemic are here to stay. More than one-third of contact centre employees will be permitted to work remotely by 2024 and a further 23% will be in a hybrid arrangement.
Remote working has numerous benefits but productivity and culture concerns remain
More than eight out of 10 survey respondents say hybrid or remote work options allow them to better retain staff by offering flexible schedules. Some 60% of them say it lowers staff stress levels and improves their mental health and more than half find it offers access to brand advocates or those with deeper knowledge. However, many CX leaders also have concerns about lower productivity, inconsistent customer service and a negative impact on culture and collaboration.
CX work will require a more specialised and technical skill set as well as shifts in workforce strategy
More than two-thirds of survey respondents expect CX work to become more specialised in the coming two years. The skills they will require include data and analytics, customer journey optimisation, specialised product knowledge and emotional intelligence. To develop these high-value skills, organisations should expand the number of full-time CX employees, hire more learning and development specialists and explore ‘gig work’ models.
Learning and development is a strategic focus area for improving the CX employee value proposition
More than two-thirds of survey respondents identify learning and development as an area of the CX employee life cycle in most need of improvement and nearly half consider insufficient learning and development opportunities to be one of their employees’ greatest daily frustrations.
“A successful CX organisation will ensure that vital ‘voice-of-the-customer’ insights are permeated across different departments to improve their processes and employees understand how the organisation works and what career paths are available to them,” said Laurel Ruma, Global Director of Custom Content, MIT Technology Review Insights.Click below to share this article