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11 Min Read

Fortifying the frontline worker experience: Tech tips and triumphs

septembre 21, 2023 / Unisys Corporation

Short on time? Read the key takeaways: 

  • Frontline workers – including retail associates, contact center agents, healthcare professionals and financial advisors – are the face of an organization and often the first touchpoint for customers.  
  • Creating a positive employee experience for frontline workers can increase their engagement to impact the customer experience and the organization’s revenue. 
  • Enterprises are supporting their frontline workers with technology solutions that streamline processes, make it easier for them to support customers, and provide easier access to training resources and IT support.  

Frontline workers are often the face of the brand and first touchpoint with existing and prospective customers.

They include retail associates, contact center agents, healthcare professionals, service technicians and financial advisors. Given they make up a significant percentage of the workforce, increasing their productivity can have a major impact on an organization’s bottom line.

When properly equipped, frontline workers not only become the catalysts for increasing productivity but also play a vital role in boosting brand loyalty. In fact, a whopping 85% of organizations believe an improved employee experience and increased employee engagement leads to a heightened customer experience and customer satisfaction and organization revenues.  
The challenge, however, lies in understanding the unique needs of frontline workers across various generations, geographies and industries and providing them with the right tools and support. Because many frontline workers don’t have a desk and may share devices with others, they often lack access to corporate resources that can help fuel their important work. 
While 86% of organizations offer employee experience support to frontline workers, just 27% consider the differing needs of frontline workers and  knowledge workers when deciding on the best employee experience technology to implement. 
Frontline workers have unique needs with different generations, geographies, work styles and industries adding nuance to the equation, according to Stephen Tong, head of product   for Digital Workplace Solutions at Unisys, during episode 44 of the Digital Workplace Deep Dive podcast. And any frontline worker can become disconnected and disengaged if they don’t believe company culture supports or values them. “It’s a rich and complex challenge to solve as an organization,” he said.
Technology can make it easier for frontline workers to get the specific support they need to maximize productivity, keep them engaged and boost job satisfaction. Here are some of their stories and four strategies that you can put into action within your own organization to elevate the frontline worker experience.

#1: Provide fast access to training and resources

When 250 organizations were asked about their employee experience goals, their top priority (61.4%) was keeping employees informed about company news. Their second (56.1%) was facilitating training, according to Metrigy’s Employee Experience & Workplace Engagement 2022-23 research. However, frontline workers often don’t have desks, dedicated devices or corporate email access, so they may not be able to access training and news from their organization as easily as knowledge workers. 
Unisys Frontline Worker Enablement leverages Microsoft Teams  to enable real-time communication and collaboration, seamless shift scheduling, agile task management and instant access to remote trainings via company devices. Enterprises are also aligning their frontline environment with business priorities with help from the offering’s end-to-end transformation consulting, organizational change management and experience management services.

#2: Offer easy access to device support  

Air France KLM wanted to improve the critical KPI of employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction by making IT services more accessible. Toward that end, it opened airport tech cafés. There, flight crews can receive online help desk and on-site support for their devices and the tablets they use to provide personalized service to passengers.at This approach increases employees’ quality of work, decreases unit cost and extends the life of the devices.
At Air France KLM tech cafés, employees can put their laptops into a secure box and receive it back with the appropriate repairs or updates from Unisys the next day. They can also get answers to tech questions “in a pleasant, modern, simple and nice atmosphere” and access support case information on a screen, said Air France KLM Group CIO Jean-Christophe Lalanne. 
“We want to serve customers in the best way in the world. To make our customers happy and to smooth the relationship between them and us all along their travel journey is absolutely crucial,” Lalanne said. “And to do that, we provide them with a lot of digital solutions. If your employees are happy and like the devices they have, then the customers will be [happy].”

#3: Support customers more easily

The right technology enables frontline workers to do their jobs more efficiently and provide better support to customers . Speedy service delivery is even more critical when lives are on the line. Fire and Emergency New Zealand improved response times for firefighters by introducing an IP-based signal transport messaging handling system and other solutions from Unisys. 
“The signal transport system message handling system is an extremely fast, reliable and highly available message transaction system that enables us to respond to fires as quickly as possible to help save citizens,” said ICT Manage – Data Intelligence Stuart Waring of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. “We are now able to meet our response service-level requirements and significantly reduce the costs of maintaining a national automatic fire alarm system without affecting our alarm response.” 
The results directly benefitted the agency’s firefighters:
  • Improved fire alarm response standards with the ability to manage approximately 40,000 message transactions per day in real time
  • Managed huge spikes in fire-related and alarm error messages with no loss in performance, as experienced during the Christchurch 6.3 magnitude earthquake of 2011
  • Achieved the ability to prioritize multiple events better, improve understanding of emergencies and check discrepancies with local and regional information via regional polling reports

Another customer-minded organization is Coventry Building Society, a financial services firm in England. The firm worked with Unisys to redesign its branches into member community hubs with a warm, welcoming ambiance and technology designed to improve member service across branches. Among other benefits, the new hubs have helped create a friendly member experience.

“Over the past 20 years, the demands from our members may have changed. However, the importance of a great experience in the branch has not. Unisys has been a constant part of our IT Services offering and remains a key part of what our members still demand of us today,” said Jason Evans, Head of Practice – Infrastructure Platforms at Coventry Building Society. “Working with a partner that understands our value on customer service is so important, and in Unisys, we have that.”

#4: Automate repeatable processes 

Besides improving customer service with the branch redesign, Coventry Building Society implemented Unisys Branch Banking Solutions – integrated with intelligent cash recyclers – to automate cash transactions. Transaction automation increased employee productivity and enhanced the employee experience for bank associates. They can now focus on guiding members on achieving their financial goals rather than on manually accepting bank deposits and dispensing cash.  
Technology that enables customers to get answers faster can free up frontline workers for projects that directly impact business outcomes. A multinational European telecom operator wanted the ability to quickly identify and address the root cause of mass outages and share information about the impact and repair time with customers. The telecom operator implemented an Enterprise Computing Solutions solution from Unisys   that automatically informs customers and agents of a mass outage.
  • Reduced calls routed to agents by 80%
  • Lowered the average call time by 50%
  • Eliminated 80% of individual field visits to customer sites

Outside the financial services industry, organizations are streamlining and digitizing tasks such as knowledge-sharing and call-logging with a boost from the Unisys Frontline Worker Enablement’s AI integration.  

Support your frontline workers with the right technology tools

Your frontline workers are critical to business success. Support these valuable employees by giving them technology solutions that enable them to access training and news, receive device support and software upgrades, support customers more easily and automate their workflows. 

Looking for ways to support your frontline workers – and improve your bottom line and the customer experience in the process?

Explore how Unisys Frontline Worker Enablement can help.

Learn more