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Employee engagement being hindered by CRM failures

9th Sep 2015
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At the start of the year, Bruce Temkin, chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association and founder of Temkin Group, called upon brands to consider 2015 as ‘The Year of the Employee’, and to give the topic of employee engagement more attention as part of the route to improving customer experience.

Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Benchmark found that companies with above average customer experience (CX) in their industry benefit from a workforce where 75% of their employees are highly or moderately engaged compared to only 47% of employees at other companies.

While nearly all companies had at least some employee engagement efforts underway, only 43% of respondents involved in the benchmark classified these as “significant efforts that are well-coordinated across the entire company”. The result is, only 19% of companies earned a strong or very strong rating in a self-assessment that analyses how effectively companies apply employee engagement approaches across their organisation.

Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the lack of a clear employee engagement strategy, followed by inconsistent buy-in from middle managers and the lack of a clear owner leading the effort.

However, CRM consultancy, Bluewolf’s latest report also helps shed further light on the technological issues around creating more ‘engaged employees’.

According to the research conducted around the annual State of Salesforce report, in many organisations, employee engagement is hindered by a misalignment of CRM systems.

While the report was focused solely around Salesforce users, it found a common thread around CRM users having to enter data into multiple systems (including systems outside of Salesforce), causing issues with how that data was subsequently used in employee engagement strategy.

Users were often also hampered by having to perform time-consuming tasks through CRM systems, and stated there was little assistance from the integration of mobile tools to aid the efficiency of data input from employees that weren’t tied to the office.       

“Investing in employees is an investment in a company’s bottom line,” the report states. “Companies are three times more likely to attribute measurable business outcomes to the use of [CRM technology] when employees believe that it makes their jobs easier.

“Salesforce [as an example] is a powerful platform, but end users must use it—and be passionate about it—for companies to achieve business outcomes. To improve overall employee experience, companies should first prioritise simplifying the most time-consuming tasks to make employees more efficient and give them more time to spend with the customer.

“Since employees are two times more likely to think Salesforce makes it easier to do their jobs when they can access it from a mobile device, mobile reinvention of the most time-consuming tasks and investments in actionable analytics are the best ways to improve the employee experience with the Salesforce platform.”

The good news from Bluewolf’s report was the finding that one-third of companies aim to tackle the many issues around improving their CRM data flow, and named an employee-facing initiative as “one of their top three objectives in 2016”; although this last point does suggest Temkin Group's argument for 2015 being the 'Year of the Employee' may need to be put back 12 months.

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