Back offices typically do not have the ‘appeal’ of being an exciting and buzzing place within companies and organizations. The first mental picture I see is this place where work is piling up with many people trying to make their way through yesterday’s backlog before they can even start today’s work. It’s a tough job!
To keep up, managers typically track performance manually using the good old ‘to do list’ and work is manually assigned to employees a couple of times a day. For many, this is the way it has always been.
This ‘modus operandi’ will not change the world. In fact, it’s not taking advantage of the opportunity to manage an end-to-end customer experience the way it could be done today. When Steve Jobs said, “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone,” he electrified his audience. I am sure many of you remember this moment as it if it just happened yesterday. So how would the late Steve Jobs have reinvented the Back Office? And how would he present it at one of his famous key note presentations?
Obviously, in full Steve Jobs style, it would be by changing 3 things and might sound something like this:
1. Change the way work how is managed: “We will completely change the way your employees will receive their work. They would simply log in to their desktop application, so no change here. Where things really get exciting is when they simply click a button, login and become available to receive the next work item. They do not have to think about all the chaos in the background, simple business rules will decide priority and present it to them when the time is right. Wouldn’t that be magical?”
2. Plan ahead: “Since we now have a system in place that manages the madness and keeps track of employee’s status in real time, we can derive wonderful statistics from it, keeping track of who does what and how long it takes. Sounds crazy right? But is isn’t. You can finally use normal workforce management applications to create a forecast that is far more accurate than your old ‘weather-forecast-like-predictions’ and make a schedule so that your employees know what to do and when. Are you getting as excited about this as I am?”
3. Manage skills: “Well, this all sounds great doesn’t it? But if you want to do all of this you need to understand something about your people. What are they really good at for example? What type of work makes them happy? But even more important, where do they need some help, training and coaching? Everybody can understand that right? So now you can create great looking assessments with graphs and fonts that look so cool you would want to show them to the world! And the results of these assessments will update your employee’s skills so that they get scheduled for new types of work. Amazing isn’t it?”
After discussing these great new features and how they will transform the customer experience, optimize your workforce and work completion, and make your employees just as excited as Steve himself, he would say something like: “Your back office will be so effective all your customers would want to work there!” Imagine the audience going wild!
Steve would likely then close the show, but not before raising his finger to say the famous words: “But there’s one more thing! If you do all of this, your Net Promoter Scores will go through the roof!”
If you are as excited as I am about transforming your back office workforce and how work gets completed, as well as unleashing the full potential of your employees, please download the ebook, 7 Key Capabilities for a Powerful Workforce Management Solution.
If you have a comment or questions, I’d love to hear from you.
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