News Feed Item

Are your customers happy? It depends who you ask

New Ricoh-commissioned global study by independent consulting firm finds disparity between managers' and employees' views of customer service capabilities

MALVERN, Pa., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Every business strives to deliver a great customer experience, but how much room exists for improvement?    

Surprisingly, employees see more room for improvement in customer service capabilities than managers do, suggests a new Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper[1] commissioned by Ricoh Company, Ltd. titled, "The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture the Soul and Spirit of the Emerging Worker.

By a factor of nearly three to one (43 percent to 17 percent), managers surveyed thought their organizations communicated well with customers through old and new channels such as text and email, whereas customer-facing employees, those on the front line dealing with customers first-hand, felt this was far from the case. At the same time, more than double the number of employees compared to their managers agreed that the businesses have older systems that require the customer to communicate in ways that they don't always want to. Both groups however do agree in one core area – they have a strong internal program to address multichannel communications – but aren't fully there yet.

"As Ricoh continues to investigate the business impact of document processes at the point of service, now is the perfect opportunity for every company to objectively re-evaluate the customer experience it's delivering and the possibility of improving it," said Yoshi Sasaki, General Manager, Business Services Center, Business Solutions Group, Ricoh Company, Ltd. "Good customer service people can either be empowered with more timely information or held back, which can negatively impact customer relations. This depends largely on how workers are supported in terms of systems and underlying information management processes. Customer-facing employees deserve information solutions that enable swift problem-solving on any communications channel – in person or via mobile, landline or Web."

According to the study, customer-facing workers stated they need "smarter solutions" that improve information capture, analytics, process management and information access. This assumes companies support these investments with the underlying document processes and systems. Customer-facing workers need "agile processes" that will give them the ability to handle exceptions in more flexible ways by having expert guidance, quick communication with experts and the ability to start new case processes.

Digging deeper
Why do customer-facing employees see more service shortcomings than their managers do? And how did this perception gap arise in the first place? "The answer may be that these communication issues fall through the cracks," the study states. "They do not result in exceptions, lost customers, or delayed orders – things that managers track – but they will degrade the customer experience over time. Not closing these gaps through improved document and process support may result in inefficient workers, high employee turnover, declining competitiveness, and lost revenue."

The disparity in the way employees and managers see customer-satisfaction capabilities builds on findings Ricoh announced last month from the same study. Nearly nine in 10 customer-facing employees (89 percent) – e.g. bank clerks, call center operators, nurses, bank managers and shop supervisors – said there's a gap between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer expects.  

According to the study, customer-facing workers are obligated to use systems that require too much time on low-value tasks – time and energy that could be invested more directly in providing a richer customer experience. Still, there's hope for improvement.

"The quality of the customer experience can directly affect the performance of a business, and a positive customer experience requires empowering the people involved in it," said Sasaki. "We do this for Ricoh clients by mobilizing valuable business information from capture through transformation and management so that customer-facing employees can quickly and completely address their customers' needs."

The study is based on an online survey by Forrester of 250 global customer service strategy and operations decision-makers, as well as customer-facing individual contributors, between March 2013 and May 2013.

To download the study, visit mds.ricoh.com/thoughtleadership.

About the Process Imperative
This research is part of Ricoh's Process Imperative, an ongoing initiative to promote understanding of new document and information processing paradigms that help enterprises leverage the collective wisdom embodied in their organizations. The Process Imperative initiative will fund research and provide resources, like those found on this site, which combine Ricoh's document and information process expertise with that of industry visionaries, its partners and customers. The insights gained through this work help businesses transform their business processes to improve productivity and drive out cost by delivering the right information, at the right time, in the right form.

Ricoh is uniquely equipped to assist its customers execute a comprehensive strategy for document process improvement that helps reduce costs and potentially increase revenue through its Managed Document Services approach. To learn more about Ricoh's approach to Managed Document Services and for free information and guidance – including case studies, white papers and videos – visit Ricoh Global MDS (www.ricoh.com/mds).

| About Ricoh |
Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx. 20 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com/about/.

© 2014 Ricoh Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

John Greco
Ricoh Americas Corporation
(973) 882-2023
[email protected]

Jill Searl
Brodeur Partners
(603) 559-5824
[email protected] 

[1]  A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Ricoh, "The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture the Soul and Spirit of the Emerging Worker," December 2013.

SOURCE Ricoh Americas Corporation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captu...
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining senso...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...