The client experience needs to be digital, so firms must prepare for the new normal, says Mark Wrighton, chief executive of Huddle
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many things into sharp focus, not least how critical it is for organisations to collaborate with purpose. Additionally, it has enforced a mass move to remote working and, in turn, catalysed digital transformation. These are three central, but interlinked, pillars for any progressive business in 2020.
At this juncture, leaders have the opportunity to reflect on what’s working well and which areas could, and should, be improved upon to optimise productivity and growth. This unprecedented situation allows companies, speeding through digital transformation, to strip out technology and applications that have over several years been bolted on to existing IT systems, and since become unwieldy and even counter-productive.
Given a chance to consider a business with fresh eyes and from a new perspective, it is clear the boundaries within which an organisation operates have become far more complex. Somewhere along the way, this complexity has degraded the client experience.
Today and in the future, the client experience needs to be digital. At this time of remote collaboration and lockdown, when social and personal interaction with clients is often missing, are firms prepared for this new normal?
According to our Client Engagement 2020 report published in April, of the 500 industry professionals interviewed more than a third (36 per cent) believe their organisation is too slow to adopt the technologies required to transform.
With no unified client engagement tool available to them, employees are forced to combine multiple apps and workflows. And without adequate provision, how can internal and external teams collaborate together and focus on the work that truly matters?
At Huddle, the next-generation client-engagement portal, we value purposeful collaboration above all else. We know external clients want, more than anything, to be reassured that the firm they deal with can still meet their needs now and in the coming months and years. Achieving this means effective collaboration and the ability to build confidence, trust and transparency into every client engagement.
Huddle provides a secure channel through which to work with clients
In 2004, American psychologist Barry Schwartz explored the idea that too much choice doesn’t make us happier or freer; instead it paralyses our decision-making. The same is true for the explosion of collaboration technologies now available to employees. They become fatigued and end up bouncing between a variety of different apps as they try to collaborate with internal teams and external clients. All this does is increase confusion, time and cost while impacting productivity.
That’s why we believe organisations need to assess their needs based on purpose; quite simply, eliminating the choice fatigue experienced by employees who just want to focus on delivering value to their clients.
Content with context
Also, when the right tools aren’t made available to employees, the risk to data security grows exponentially. We see this all the time; employees hit the buffers when collaborating with clients, thanks to a firewall, or similar, so they resort to even-risker workarounds and either default to email or go “off-grid” altogether to find their own solutions.
Indeed, our new report shows that 36 per cent of those surveyed admit to using a personal file-sharing app at work to share sensitive content. Almost always, these fall short of an organisation’s IT security policies. It also leaves the business with no official audit trail of activity and, most worryingly, leads to concerns around General Data Protection Regulation.
Further, 32 per cent of respondents feel they waste time having to jump between multiple applications to keep track of a client engagement, while 40 per cent believe quality is suffering because of time pressure, and 31 per cent struggle to stay abreast of file revisions and client updates.
At Huddle, we focus on presenting content with context. Engaging with a client through Huddle ensures files, discussions, tasks, approvals and activity are all connected in a single, auditable space. And, by enabling Huddle to be connected to an organisation’s other business-critical IT systems and apps, it provides internal teams with a single, focused, secure channel through which to work with clients.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is going to change how people do business. It has exposed weaknesses, but should have refocused the minds of business leaders. Customer success permeates everything we do at Huddle and we want to drive better results through client collaboration. Look at your current tech stack and then the needs of your employees and clients, and ask yourself honestly: “Am I banging a square peg into a round hole?”
For more information please visit www.huddle.com