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8 Ways IT Can Deliver a Great End User Experience

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Published on August 19, 2022 by

Paul Deur

In an increasingly competitive world, enterprises want to deliver a great customer experience to win and retain business, but this can’t be done in isolation. If the employee experience is ignored, they’ll struggle to retain talent and achieve business goals, which will impact the customer experience.

IT plays a huge role in the employee experience. The 2021 Adobe State of work reported 49% of survey respondents said they would quit their job if technology was hard to use or outdated. Many companies are still reeling from the Great Resignation and they don’t want to lose more talent.

For IT, this means adopting a holistic modern management approach to endpoint management. It means:

  • Aligning with business goals more closely.
  • Delivering tools that help end users manage their work or interact with colleagues more intuitively.
  • Focusing on digital delivery and implementing change seamlessly.
  • Changing the way program success is measured.

The Shift from SLA to XLA

Leon Gilbert of Unisys believes IT needs to move from service level agreements (SLA’s) to experience level agreements (XLA) to measure the end-to-end experience. This can’t be gauged by the number of service tickets closed during the month or the percentage of time an app was available.

If an issue with an OS update blew up user access, more service tickets would be opened, and perhaps closed during the month. And, when it comes to closing tickets, there’s no way to know if the user was frustrated by the process - SLAs don’t measure that. Similarly, if an application was available for 99% of the time but was needed to complete business critical activities during the 1% of time it couldn’t be accessed that could mean that risks were added to programs or deals. That’s not going to make your end users or leadership team happy.

To enhance the customer experience and move to XLA measurement, IT need to take a fresh look at the way it delivers change.

1. Manage change with a more thoughtful approach
When delivering new technology, it’s not a case of just pushing it out, and expecting employees to start using it. There must be a level of communication and education. But how do you go about that? Do you send mails, create videos, assign technology ambassadors within the business to help their teams, brief the help desk, provide self service capabilities for end users?
The answer is all the above and more. We all learn in different ways so there is no ‘one size fits all’. If you’re only meeting the requirements of some end users, you’ll be falling short of delivery for the rest.

2. Consider where your users are based before rolling out change
Delivering a great end user experience means doing that wherever they are based. If you’re rolling out change, for example managing a Windows update or implementing new technology, you should also think about complications.
For example, when performing updates over a user’s home network you’ll need to first run scripts to understand bandwidth constraints of remote users’ internet connectivity. You’ll also need to allow users to schedule updates at a time convenient to them and when they’ll be online.
To avoid shipping hardware to the wrong address you’ll need to confirm shipping addresses directly with employees. There’s a good chance the information stored in different internal systems is out of date.

3. Deliver enhanced ‘in-person’ help
For those in the office who like to deal with IT face-to-face you can set up clinics. But with more end users working remotely it’s important to ensure that their needs are met too. By introducing mixed reality capabilities, you can enhance remote assistance and make problem-solving more intuitive for remote workers.

4. Implement more intuitive collaboration
We’ve all got used to interacting with colleagues using videoconferencing tools. Now the focus should be on tools that enable more intuitive collaboration wherever employees are, which means:

  • Equipping offices with the capabilities required by the teams who work there.
  • Allowing employees to interact with office buildings using their devices, for example using location tracking to navigate to a hot desk in an unfamiliar building, or adding QR codes to desks and equipment, and allowing users to scan them with devices to see if they are available to use.
  • Leveraging AR and VR for group tasks such as product development, training, and testing to allow people to work together more intuitively even if they are physically apart.

5. Monitor experience and enable preventative maintenance
Implement experience tools that monitor the performance of end user devices and use analytics to define a score and highlight issues. Resolve potential issues before end users notice them and focus on driving up the score delivered by your experience tools. You could also send end users a message to say that you’ve identified and proactively solved an issue that could impact the device performance.

6. Offer self-service
Most of your end users have got used to using forums and vendor self-help web pages and no longer want to wait on the end of a phone. By providing self-help portals with walkthroughs on common, or easily solved problems, you’ll empower them to solve issues in their own time and avoid unnecessary help-desk tickets. You can also require users to complete training before rolling new applications or unfamiliar operating systems like Windows 11.

7. Monitor and measure the effectiveness of change
Whatever change you put in place, you should monitor the success, with a focus on the end user experience. For example, if an OS update fails, you should work with the end user to understand why or open a support call request to walk through any issues with them.

At the close of any program, measure its effectiveness by documenting issues as well as what went well and reaching out to department leads to understand how well the new technology has been received. Use this to inform future programs.

8. Leverage automation
To manage any of these initiatives successfully you need to have a clear understanding of your IT estate, including where end users are working, what applications they interact with, and more. You’ll need to interact with many tools managing the distinct parts of your estate and aggregate the data to gain a holistic view.
But this takes time when done with a mountain of spreadsheets. And the data will be out of date and likely contain errors. You can’t solve end user problems with old data; you could risk breaking something, such as user access to applications, which in turn impacts user productivity. And systems typically provide only 80% of the necessary data. You’ll need to survey end users to confirm or correct data and fill in the missing 20% of information. This can take huge chunks of your team’s time.
Using a digital platform conductor (DPC) you can cut the time, effort, and cost of implementing change and enhance the employee experience. A digital platform conductor connects to and orchestrates your disparate IT management tools. It applies intelligence to aggregate and analyze data from them in real time and triggers them to roll out change automatically, once systems and users are ready.

Using a digital platform conductor many tasks normally managed manually can be automated, including those involved in Windows updates, endpoint operations, office 365 migrations and more. These include surveying and communicating with end users and managers, opening tickets when monitoring tools have detected an issue with a user’s device, documenting and certifying processes, dashboard analysis for program monitoring, and report creation.

Book a demo to understand how ReadyWorks can help you deliver and measure change effectively to enhance the employee experience.